Fiction flash: The Pilgrim

His sad­ness is my sad­ness; this man in the sub­way with his back against the tiles and a Russian-look­ing cap open by his crossed ankles. His eyes are hard on the cap. He might be expect­ing magic. I won­der, passing, giv­ing up none of my money, wheth­er his stare is an answer to com­ing police ques­tions about mov­ing on. How has the young man etched him­self into this routine? Are the pen­nies in the cap his? Do the tiles at his back remem­ber him when he is moved on? The sub­way tells the Canterbury Tales in car­toon­ish, life-sized fig­ures. A knight; a baker; a wife.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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