You could be a part of anyone’s

story without knowing it.

The distinguished gentleman

sipping his americano in the corner

might be side-ways, side-eyes

glancing at the cover

of your weather-beaten Jane Eyre

and you surprisingly only care

that he knows how much this

classic has lent itself to your fragile,

feeble, fabled adolescence.

He might be placing you expertly

in the vacant role of feminine star

in the story he’s concocting in his

lonely, ingenious mind.

The submissive lady, head down,

shoulders hunched

that you collided with in the middle

of town, may have looked up

for the briefest of seconds

and noticed your kind eyes, your

upturned lips

she may have placed you 


in the vacant role of her rescuer, her

quiet confidante

in the harsh, cold, brutal reality

within the walls of her terraced hell.

The little boy, surprisingly less snot-

nosed and more wide-eyes and

bushy-tailed than expected

that runs down your street, to-ing

and fro-ing, hurtling away from the 

monster, invisible, that lurks by the 

big, brown gate

may have paused at your window,

saw you settling down to the latest 

instalment of whatever fantasy

franchise takes his fancy,

that his guardians refuse to indulge him.

He may have placed you


as the mother he never had,

never could have,

a golden halo beaming around your

Madonna-like head.

Just as you notice them but do not

understand how you become




to their fantasies

to their realities…

That’s why the world is weird

how our stories can and will 


how we’re told to love thy 


while we, sit dumb and ignorant,

reading our Jane Eyre; walking

in the street; watching a film with

those bold, brash blinkers 

blocking the light.

photography by Isabella Baxter

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