Shadow play

Waiting for the 59. 9.30am.

It was a gloriously sunny morning. I was lightly dozing at the bus stop, eyes closed and legs stretched out. Then I heard a gentle singing to my left. I opened my eyes to see a small Somali family – mum, two daughters and tiny son – off on an outing (possibly some sort of children’s Qur’an class, judging from the stationery and textbooks mum was carrying). The mum had opened up her Qur’an and was singing softly, a lovely lilting melody.

The two daughters were dressed in traditional dress and hijabs, but they also wore fat stripey trainers (just visible) and sported enormous, yellow Hello Kitty satchels. The tiny son was in a white thobe, and completed his outfit with matching trainers and an outsize Arsenal jersey.

Having worked out how many minutes there were until the next bus (‘Five!’), the three children gathered just to the right of the bus stop and silently began to make silly shapes with their shadows, the tiny son aping his big sisters.

The sun continued to beam down on all of us.


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