Summer Reading: Art Lane

THIS is an extract from the VINCENT WRITING CENTRE’S first anthology of short stories and poetry. To get the full story and a stash of others, contact PETER JEFFERY on peter.jeffery@iinet.net.au or call 0481 462 612

by ANGELA JONES

THE land does not have a name, we looked for an indication at both ends but there is nothing.

So we call it Art Lane, or as my little grandson says, “Heart Lane” which is rather apt.

We really love walking down this lane, my grandsons and I. Sometimes there are two of us, sometimes three, but most often all of us – me, two brothers and their little cousin.

We make and remake stories about what we see, adding as we go, or inventing new stories if we forget the ones previously made up. We have our favourites, or least favourites, depending on the mood we are in.

We visit the lane usually Tuesday afternoon, after Oscar and Noah have their piano lesson, while their little cousin, Oliver, sits and watches, tapping his foot in time – the human metronome the piano teacher calls him.

We walk to Beaufort Street for a treat but it is the lane that is the real reward.

Past Hutt and Grosvenor Street corner, just before the ‘tortured’ gum trees, we turn right and stop in front of the first mural: the pretty girl with the wild hairdo. This is our favourite.

We love the clever way the artist has blended nature with art.

The girl looks intelligent and alert with her bright eyes framed by big glasses.

It is as if she is speaking to us.

“Look at me, my lemon tree hair, my lemon earring, lemon leaves for eyebrows, yet I am as real as you are.”

We give her a name, Leigh Mona, reflecting not just her lemon essence but the fact that she is Art Lane’s main attraction, much like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre…

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