She lovingly looked at her baby palms
Seashells materializing out of the blue
A tiny cluster of varied shapes and sizes
Every intricate pleat tinted a distinct hue

She gathered everything she could see
Her hands could barely hold one more
Dawdling to the sea in hope for better
Spotting prettier shells along the way

As the skies changed to its dusky gown
She made up her mind to return home
When a wave dashed towards the shore
Stealing her little collection as she toppled
Looking around, she could spot nothing

Guilty from breaking her little promise
To collect the best shells for her mother
Carrying her weight of a soaked body
Staring at her empty hands with teary eyes

She stood at the doorstep
Her hands outstretched in shame
Sobbing and trembling from her loss
“A huge wave took it from me, momma”

“Don’t worry little one
For there are many more to find
And many more to lose
Smile, for when you feel the soft sand
And inhale the salty breeze
That is when the shells land on your lap”

Saying so, mother adorns her small neck
A necklace strung together by little shells
Collected and kept secretly away from her
Dangling gracefully in the blurry candlelight
Fragrance of the sea safe within its curves

Her wide eyes look in disbelief
The issue wasn’t as big as it seems
Her small mind could never fathom
The enormity of difficulties yet to face
She sighs and hugs her mother tight
And tugs her hand to go back to sea

Gopika Pramod

A story about a mother and her daughter whose relationship is unbound by expectations, going beyond their limits to make the other happy.

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