Losing Clare

I prayed for a foggy morning,
one that would somehow shield me
from the inevitable.

A little plane can’t leave this island in the fog.
Even a wind will change schedules.
It happens all the time.

All night I stood on the shore
prayed for clouds,
made deals with the angels.

When the sun came up the next morning,
it was clear.
The water lapped lazily.

I talked about some bad movie and some bad seafood
and you ticked off in your head
all the reasons you were leaving.

Perfect sunny morning and you wore
tortoise shell sunglasses I had paid too much for
years and years before.

Later, on the beach,
I looked up and cursed the clouds
that arrived too late.

I watched children and mothers.
I drank white whiskey right out of the bottle,
and pretended you would be emerging soon

from a cabana behind me
whispering something funny
ready to lead me back to where we’d been.

Pfefferle, W.T. “Losing Clare,” Nimrod 49:2 (Spring/Summer 2006): 209