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The Display

Neelima pondered over what to do with the old boots she’d found in the garden shed. Ferns had begun to sprout within the porous fabric making Neelima frown. Caked with patches and stains of endless hours in the mud, they weathered every season with the vanity that only hunting boots could muster.

Ma cared for them like a second child and they were the apple of her grand father’s eyes. The old man went hiking in his youth. The boots were companions of his wanderlust. They trod over foreign soil, over ridges and valleys bringing with them the scents and tales of faraway lands.

When Ma used them, the boots’ journey was restricted. They traipsed through the weeds and potting soil, crushing the thistles and oxeyes, granting protection from thorns as she laboured to shape the hedges, lay the flower beds and vegetables. Onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pumpkins flourished under her green fingers.

Multicoloured hibiscus peeped over the walls, the jatropa‘s scarlet blossoms attracted many butterflies. Milky jasmines released their scent into the moonlit nights lending any moments in the garden a slight intoxication. As a child Neelima felt that her Ma cast a spell night to preserve the beauty around the house.

Through it all the boots had helped. Maa’s flower shop wouldn’t run without it. Grandfather’s adventures were not the same without the boots. The way grandpa stitched every little seam when it tore. The way Maa strengthened its insoles.

Neelima discovered that she could not part with them.

A few days later the boots rested on the man made stump near the Flower Shop. Neelima planted a cluster of sunny chrysanthemum’s in them. The boots attracted customers to the shop, people even stopped to take pictures.

Even Muffin the calico cat seemed to like the boots, she often curled around the display and snoozed in the early morning sunlight, although Muffin seemed to detest any other plant.

Neelima only smiled.

Written for Sadje’s WYDS#167


Published by Aboli Mane

Poet. Writer. Blogger. I post short reads, and poetry on A Writer In The Room. I published my debut poetry book "An Aster's Solitude" in 2019. Currently: Writing my first novel, an animal fantasy in a fictional world. Follow me to keep yourself updated.

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