A steamer nudges the quayside. A blonde passes the purser on the gangway. She shivers in her thin mac, clutching a little case that contains everything she owns in the world. She is a dancer in a back-street revue. The sort of girl who makes men dizzy. She knows the sadness of 2 a.m., flattering drunken bores, listening to their promises. The emptiness of their want. The shame the next morning when they hurry her out the door. She pulls up the collar of her coat, sees the purser and smiles. It starts to rain; a rain that will last for days.
By David Ford