It was an old, white dinner plate, with an unfussy, rounded rim and dishwasher-tired glaze. It was perfect.
~ A piece of mirror from her mother’s craft box ~
~ Transparent plastic straws ~
~ Thin lines of cotton wool teased from the block in the bathroom ~
~ A white napkin left over from Christmas, scattered with stars ~
~ Silver paper clips ~
~ Icing sugar ~
It took her all afternoon, the day darkening outside – the sky getting ready to rain. When she was done, she cleared away the debris from the dining table and moved the plate to the centre, so she could look at it properly, so it would get noticed when everyone got home.
It was, she decided, one of those gardens that don’t have a house attached. Like an island. She imagined rowing there on a small wooden boat, thin ice cracking across the surface of the water. She would wear her mother’s coat with the fleecy white lining, the big hat she got for Christmas and the gloves her brother wore at work. She would dance underneath the ice pagoda with its thin crystal curves. She would wave her arms to make angels in the sugar sweet snow. She would pick the most beautiful white flower for her hair, and stand above the frozen lake to see how she looked.