Photo challenge: Numbers

This week’s photo challenge topic is numbers, so this was the only photo in my files that seemed to connect. It’s a door in Tiverton Four Corners where I like to go in late summer to stroll around the art galleries, have ice cream at Gray’s and check out all the little stores in this interesting corner of the state. Then I drive around and turn off on every vine-covered lane until I’m thoroughly lost and end up in Westport, Fall River or Bristol.

So, another interesting number is ONE month, and that’s exactly how long it is until Mallory and Seth’s wedding. Tonight she is in Newport with Emily and friends for her bachelorette party. I thought I’d share a poem I wrote for her several years ago, when she was graduating from high school.

The letting go part
                 for Mallory, EPHS, Class of 2002

never gets any easier.

One day, barely three, she climbs
into a broad-backed Winnebago
with Poppy, Gram Joan, Ruth and Joe,
never looking back. You want
to race down Manning Drive
and carry her safely home.
Only you don’t.
You just ache and miss her.

As the years pile up
you learn a lot about letting go.
You learn that panic can take control
on a sun-splashed day while waves
ride high on a South County beach,
even if she is fifteen.

You learn that sometimes
letting go means not knowing,
not asking, respecting silence.
Another time it means listening
hard on the edge of darkness
as her wavering voice says
she is dealing with more
than you ever knew.

And so today,
on this day of diplomas,
and mortar boards and robes,
you watch from a distance,
hoping against hope,
that she will find you out here,
give you one quick smile
that will help you through
one more day
of letting go.


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