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Is it a Pebble?
Karen Griffiths

Close your eyes.

She’s too young to understand I don’t need my eyes to see but I play along. 

Hold out your hand.

From the basket of ‘treasures’ she places what I know is the pebble into my outstretched hand. I curl my fingers around the familiar bevelled edges. Massaging my thumb deeper into the hollows, I trace its long journey through time to our last time on the beach. I squeeze and squeeze the pebble tighter. Wanting to squeeze life back into you but it defies gravity and pushes back at me, solid, impenetrable, telling me there is no going back. I give in and accept the cool smooth caress of its outer skin to calm me.

What is it?

Her words are an intrusion but I take a breath and smile.

Is it an elephant?  

She squeals and as the game dictates, she gives me one more chance. I see you in her. Like the ebb of the tide, my mind is drawn inwards and I see your love.  Memories pelt my skin like soft alkaline raindrops that neutralise my pain. Tilting my head back, I soak every drop in until I’m saturated. It makes me heavy and grounds me again. I don’t need to be afraid. One day she’ll find her own pebble and see your love too. I reach out my hand, open my eyes and as my fingers unfurl I finish the game:

Is it a pebble?



Karen lives near Cheltenham and has taken early retirement as an English teacher to be able to smell the roses and grow as a fledgling writer.

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