Mag­gie Butt

Il­lu­mi­na­tions

The London Magazine - - CONTENTS - Mag­gie Butt

Grop­ing into our bed­room in the sum­mer-dark to de­ter moths, midges and mos­qui­tos by clos­ing win­dows be­fore light­ing up the house, I’m puz­zle-stopped by the sight of fairy­lights looped through the trees across the road glis­ter­ing and sashay­ing in the night-breeze. Clichés vault-to-mind – chinks of cham­pagne glasses, a sax­o­phone riff­ing on summertime, high voices bub­bling in the hu­mid air.

I look-and-look, then slip out to in­ves­ti­gate, star­ing up at the jit­ter­bug­ging il­lu­mi­na­tions un­til what I’m see­ing clicks into place, sat­is­fy­ing as Lego, or the last jig­saw piece, and I re­alise it’s the shim­mer­ing gloss of holly leaves, and glis­ten­ing ivy, glazed with lin­den-sap, flecked sil­ver by street­lamp, star-tipped for no­body but them­selves, decked with noth­ing but their own glory.

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