By the Canal

The gloomy clouds pushing over the busy people running to their own worlds. White streaks between the sky's greyness. The sun trying to break through, but barred by their fluffy yet determined resistance. A summer's day that lacked the lucklustre of the warm rays from Helios. The willow trees' branches tangoing in the breeze, unsettling the little sparrows that were trying to perch. Green leaves interspaced by brown streaks from their dying brethren, made them look like a graveyard in May.
        The ones that had lived their lives, were now making way for the new foliage eager to sprout and show off their green blades. Leaves twisting as they interlocked in their waltz with the summer zephyr. Teasing and caressing each other with every breath and with every twirl. A constant wind that chilled the air. The man sitting by the river crossed his hands tightly to warm up, as he shuddered in the cool day. The water rippled as it was flowing in the canal. What secrets was its bed hiding? A silent movement that never stopped, whatever the season, whatever the weather. 
        The canal boat pulled up at walking pace. The grey-haired man hesitated before jumping off its bow, perhaps doubting if his legs had too many decades under them. 'Was the distance too wide?' With a leap of faith he found himself ashore holding the barge-rope tightly. Putting his arms out like a tight-rope walker he swayed from side to side in a slight squat. 
        He tightened the rope round the mooring post, before rolling up a cigarette, which he puffed on with delight; or was it relief? The rollie came alive everytime he kissed it, closing his eyes to saviour the nicotine rush. He stayed sat on the black bollard until the  cigarette had been reduced to the size of a child's fingernail. A duckling squawked and flapped its wings when the little flame landed too close for comfort. His parents looked on with indifference. It had to learn the harshness of life. One day it will be his turn to lead.
        The busy people kept running to their own worlds under the gloomy clouds. Every one carrying their own greyness. Every one carrying their own sunshine.

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