Where we live the street is more often than not filled with beautiful happy Roma Children, white kids are prisoners. Today I visited Maggie whilst working with my friend and colleague Alan, and of course David who I care for was there, the drive being for his benefit. One girls who recently started school and has barely learned English was playing. She is, as many children are, possessing of perfectly proportioned features and could have stepped out of a late renaissance oil painting. She is super charismatic and confident which suggests that her mother who I say hello to as she smokes on our street is doing a superb job. A few days ago the girl accosted me in the street and said I should give her money, pushing my tummy as she walked backwards, I told her off. The reason is probably that a few weeks ago on the hottest day of the year her friends Rudy and Ivanka left our corner shop empty handed after gazing for a long time in the freezer cabinet, so I bought a dozen ice poles and gave them to their mother who was eating pumkin seeds on a chair outside the close neighbouring ours. She shared them amongst her children and the children of her friends.
Today the little girl and her two brothers were playing happily, the elder boy told me 'yes it's new' as he cycled past on his bicycle but of course, like small animals and all children, they were only drawn to stop and stand and talk when Maggie arrived, also on a bicycle.
They chatted easily to Maggie as I extinguished my cigarette and then to me and then Alan in the drivers seat. They asked where my bicycle was and I pointed and said far away, fourteen miles, I am working today that is where David lives. He didn't believe me and asked how I would get it back I said I would finish work on Monday and would return on it. Then they asked about David who was sitting in the back seat. I said 'we care for him, he is very ill'. Surprised that he had not been invited to join the conversation the girl asked with sudden insight 'can he talk ?'
'No', I said 'He cannot talk, there are a lot of things he cannot do'.
She looked up at me, her eyes, rare amongst her kin, illuminating the sun above us with their blue, ill used to clouds, met mine.
'That's not fair she said.'
I reached for Maggie's, hand.
The girl began to sing again as is her habit when not talking , her habitual teasing smile returned. I joined the tune with her, it was the one the child sang on the train carriage in Latcha Drom. She squinted at me and her little brow creased. It was a delight to surprise her.