Purple heather (haibun)

Credits: Kirsty Mitchell

They stumbled on rocks along the shore.


“Come along now, Bonnie, you’re holding us all up.”


Six year old Bonnie was stopping to collect a stone here, a stone there along the way on their family venture along the shores of Ballybunion.


“Stop being such a slow poke! stupid!!!” shouted her teenage brother, Sean. He was already agitated he had to tag along on this “dumb trip” when his girlfriend was back home in Dublin. “But NO!!, Mum had to visit the old homestead” he mimicked his mother’s voice, “’tis where your great-great-great-grand-dad O’Donnell was born and left for Canada during the famine” As if Sean cared about that trip that lasted one hundred years and they all moved back and lived happily ever after in Dublin, he thought. Big effin deal!!


“I’m not stupid! I’m smart, Miss O’Connell said so, so there,” she shouted back sticking out her tongue for good measure.


“Come along, Bonnie, we’re all tired and hungry. And stop picking up all those stones,now, luv. When we get to Monroe’s up ahead, we can stop for the day and eat a nice plate of fish and chips. How does that sound?” Bonnie scrunched up her nose just thinking of the smell she remembered the last time she had fish at Uncle Gerald’s. “They’re not stones, Mum, they’re precious pebbles and each one has a story to tell. Miss Con…” Her mother yanked her by the hand with a grunt and a sigh and Bonnie knew she meant business. She stuffed her pocket with three more pebbles and ran along side her mum and brother.


They saw the cabin near the pier and Sean rushed to Monroe’s to order his meal…he’d had enough being stuck with females for the past forty-eight hours.


They started walking up from the shore, high grass and spots of heather blowing in the wind made a pretty picture for any artist. Suddenly, Bonnie stopped and noticed something in the heather. “Mummy, come quick!” Her mother came by her side and they both approached slowly in case there was an animal hidden in the bush. Mae O’Donnell’s eyes widened and she put her hand to her mouth in shock. “This can’t be! It looks like it but is just can’t be! Jesus, Mary, Joseph…it is!”


Bonnie tugged at her mother’s cardigan, “What, Mummy, what is it.” Tears poured down her mother’s cheeks as she lifted the porcelain doll from the purple heather. “It’s me Gram’s doll. I used to play with it in the attic when I came to visit when I was your age, luv.”

gusts of sea breeze

whispering ancient secrets

bed of heather

© Tournesol ’15

Photo prompt at MindLoveMiserysMenagerie

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