Farmland (bp coyle)

‘This used to all be farmland when I was a boy,’ I inform my youngest girl.

‘Really?’ she asks in a bored way.

‘I know, it’s hard to believe! See over there, where those tall houses are? That’s where we used to take a short cut home from school. Old Farmer Brady would set his dog on you if he saw you doing it. A fierce old thing he was.’

‘Gosh,’ she manages.

‘There were signs up all over the place: Trespassers will be shot!’

That seems to spark a little interest from her. ‘Seriously? Is that true?’

I laugh. ‘Well the signs were certainly there but I never heard of anyone actually being fired at.’

‘Do you want to go and see if we can find your old house?’

‘Why not? We’ve come all this way after all. It’s probably gone too I bet.’ I turn away so I can wipe my eye without being noticed. I don’t know why I’m getting emotional. I hated this place growing up. Filled with poverty and narrow minds. I couldn’t wait to get away.

For the first time in I don’t know how long, she reaches out and holds my hand.