by Alice

In the Post Office, waiting in the queue, laden with parcels.

One of the clerks: “It’s Alice!”

Me, laughing: “Once more with joy!”

(We have a long-running joke that they look busy when I come in with tons of orders).

A little voice pipes up.

I look around.

No one.

The voice again.

A hand tugs my dress.

I look down.

Small, adorable Chinese girl as high as my knee, looking up at me:

“My name’s Joy!”