Photograph: The Nuns and Me The image gives me back myself at twenty-two in a brown skirt and sunny blouse, smiling, one sister’s arm tucked into mine. Their habits, like the full moon on a windy night rode the air. The women, mere passengers, traveled lightly in the folds, each face her own. They were contemplative by mission and by nature, except Patricia from Ireland who folded the laundry—those lunar gowns— and carried me along with her brogue and bravado—a stormy tale of drugs, poverty and unlikely rescue in the quiet kindness she often felt compelled to disrupt. You look happy, a friend says of the picture. It’s decades later. Maybe I was. I’m married now, have two sons, write poetry. Maybe I would have been.
Dede Mitchell‘s work has appeared in NC Literary Review, Kakalak 2013, Role Reboot, and is forthcoming in Cider Press Review. You can also find some of my writing (as “Dede”) at OurBlueBoat.org, a blog that celebrates and muses on our relationship with the earth.