The Christmas Salmon


By Frances Tate

Starting its journey with a leap of conviction, the salmon does not see the bludgeoning tide and adverse gradient as insurmountable.

Non-directionally synchronized, battered by elbows and bristling shopping bags, seeking the path of least resistance, we slog upstream.

Sale icons bait bright-lit windows, lure shoppers, they veer without warning or apology. We dodge as best sardines can, shimmying over cobbles, trawling for balance.

Flinging themselves up rapids, sometimes finding the paws of waiting bears to cure their exhaustion, the salmon has it easy. Even if successful, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Evolution requires Christmas shopping annually tests human mettle.

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