To Friends and Strangers, When We Part

I’m about to accept your wishes for a nice/good day. To prepare for this I should have a nice brain with good thoughts. I’ll imagine my family of origin is still alive. I’ll assemble my brother, batteries not included because he seems part of my son, Jesse, who likes to take risks, as his uncle did. Jesse daredevils waves (if he had a surfing accident, Anthony would be propelled away again. But on this day I’ll erase that thought).

I’ll think of my brother scaling mountains and rocks, covering war zones and humanitarian disasters, returning safely till his final trip. Then I’ll pull Anthony away from the last site he covered as a photojournalist, a refugee camp in Africa. There were famine-carved children in the camp and women escaping vengeance from families, and tribal killing. But a virus killed Anthony. 

I’ll pull my brother through years of separation. He’ll break into his childhood giggle. He and Jesse will recognize each other, Jesse’s full-out smile repeated in Anthony’s delight. Our parents will thrill to being together all of us, hugging like clasped hands. 

“Have!” is your wish--strangers and friends—when we part. You invite the fulfilled day to tuck itself into my life. Nothing spectacular, just pleasant times. Perhaps safe.


Brooklyn, NY

An alumna of Barnard College, Terese Robison has been a book and journal editor, translator and interpreter, and tutor/mentor for youth on probation. She taught writing at a community college in New Haven before moving to Brooklyn, where she directs a writing program for teens. Poetry was published in Hiram Review, Bitterroot, and three anthologies compiled from contest awards. Her stories have appeared in Tahoma Literary Review, Monkeybicycle, Mexico This Month, and Elsewhere (literary joke). A short-fiction collection was developed in postgraduate study with Janet Burroway at FSU, as well as at UCLA and SCSU. She is also writing a book on idioms and metaphors in English speech.

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