It has stayed in its envelope.
We move it about.
“Put is somewhere.” he says, “It will get bent.”
It is our church directory portrait without Rose.
She was away at the university.
We three went to pose for our family portrait.
But our family has four.
It is a photo of my worst fear.
The three of us with no Rose.
This photo is lovely,
but it will never find a frame.
Rose called to ask if she could go on a trip with friends.
My fear wanted to say “No.”
My mind was thinking: it is too far away, it is a strange place, I do not know these friends…
I kept my lips silent.
I will not share my fears with Rose. She fights her own fears.
We must be brave, Rose and I.
Caution is smart, fear is stupid.
Caution says maybe, but fear says no.
Rose has heard enough “No’s.”
I will not let fear speak for us.
I will not say no.
I will let Rose go
on her first trip with friends at age 26
to a new place far away from her mama.
It is time.
Rose is ready.
I have a sneaky seizure snake
coiled in the back of my mind.
It stays put most of the time.
Sometimes it strikes
with electrical venom
and shocks my brain.
It slithers through my thoughts
and steals them.
I wish someone strong
could put a heal on the head
of this seizure snake.