Pocketful of Shamrock – by Devyn B. Cannon (Adult)

“You know, you’ll never really know if anyone is friendly if you don’t step out of your comfort zone and try.” Martie’s mother was beautiful and rarely wrong. Even when she pushed him to do all the things that terrified him, she remained his greatest hero. She, a hard-working, single mother, had taught him to ride a bike, bake a cake and tend a magically running-over garden full of blooms. These were normal mother-son activities for most kids. Martie, with only one arm since birth, had to learn differently how to fit into a world that required ‘whole’ people.
When he was ten, he’d helped his mother plant shamrock, much like they had done many years. It was odd, really. Why plant something that grew so unapologetically all over the ground? He asked her about this to which she replied, “Shamrock is a natural fertilizer for other plants and survives drought well. It is tolerant and resistant.” She shielded the sun from her eyes with her hand as she glanced up at him from a crouched position on the ground. She smiled and stood, “My son, it reminds me of you.” She slipped a few soft petals into his pocket that day before they ran for the house from a sudden North Carolina downpour.
You can’t wear a backpack the way everyone else does when you only have one arm, and you have to adjust to play basketball and carrying all your belongings along with a lunch tray in nearly impossible. But, as Martie peered up at the looming high school building for his first day as a freshman, he inadvertently reached into his pocket only to find a few dollar bills and the soft feel of something else…shamrocks. She was a woman of few words really, but you could always ‘hear’ what she intended to say. He pressed a few of the small green stems to his lips briefly before returning them to his pocket. He could do this and he could do anything.
‘Thanks Mom’ he thought to himself and he took the first step.
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Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-02
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