A Lifting Up for Those Who Mourn

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‘A Lifting Up for Those Who Mourn’ was first published in Tears in the Fence 46 (2007), and now appears in For His Warriors: Thirty Stories.

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…But I felt no pity for Miss Davies, not when I saw her handed by Dewi from the boat, nor later when she cried in the night because she was homesick. I saw the short-sleeved dress, salmon pink, very pretty, the ankles neither hard work nor childbearing had thickened, and I thought, ‘Is she here to milk cows and cut hay or to open a clothes shop?’ He let her hand drop quick enough, and I saw her coming up the slope quite lightly, taking stock, I dare say, until she saw me. That night, after the dancing, her crying annoyed me. I poked Dewi until I was sure he could hear, and I said, ‘She’s your skivvy, not mine. You’ll have to go and comfort her.’ He groaned. ‘Let her cry. The girl’s just homesick.’ I felt no hatred of her then, only irritation and dislike.

So her face darkened the way faces darken when I look at them, and she said, ‘Oh! Mrs Williams!’ I was standing where the path was smooth, for that day my leg was paining me, with Moi the dog at my side…

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‘In this exemplary collaboration between medical science and imagination, lives preserved in official records, in the language and diagnoses of their times, are restored not just to light, but to humanity and equality. This anthology is a resurrection.’

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