What to keep

glistenoftheseaBy ten, I had amassed great wealth. I had a box under the bed with three hankie-wrapped packages inside. One contained owl pellets, another bird skulls and beaks and the other, sea-smoothed sheep’s bones. These would be pulled out, unwrapped, surveyed, added to, ranked, then re-wrapped and put away again.

There was another treasure I was interested in. If I climbed onto the rocks I could lie on my belly and stare down onto it. Into it. Its glittering folds. The ripples of light. The gleaming swirl.

Sometimes I’d trail a hand through it, running its silveryness through my fingers before a cloud came, rendering all before me grey.

But these moments did not disappear. I’d imagine the glisten moving through my veins, up my arm. Towards my heart? My voice? my eyes? I didn’t know where. And although I’d go home empty handed I could still see it. It was still there. I was carrying it with me.

That’s when I began to realise I was the box.

© Shona Main 2013

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