by Martha Sprackland

My fingertips gathered the rain
Held in milky measures
the sad reluctant drops more anaemic than sea water
for her. Awkwardly she twisted her
tiny hands around my palms
scavenged the liquid from
my skin which clutched her to my clothes to dry.
Sand clung to hair
ground crunchily in our teeth
salt and sharp cracked my lips like peeling paint but
The discomfort of our boots waterlogged and wrinkled pale was
She filled my pockets with shells.