Curious

The four-year-old in the airport

Airport“Don’t touch,” her mother scolds, but she needs to.

The saturated candy stands, glossy sheets, fuzzy things – how could a backpacked explorer not want to reach out and discover them? Run her fingers over untouched pages; the first to lay claim to their margins.
“Don’t touch!” her mother shouts, but who wouldn’t want to? Should her fingers lay shackled to her hand, fused with her wrist, stuck to her side?
Her mom looks away and she strokes the furry “C.”
Later, when some weary traveller buys that neck pillow, it’ll bear traces of that little girl’s spirit: her defiance, her curiosity, and maybe some jam.
“Let go,” her mother tugs.
She proceeds, empty-handed.
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