from my journal . . .
Dark clouds were forming in the west but Kimberly still sat quietly in the sand. As the waves rushed toward the shore, touched it, spraying a fine mist over her, she dug her toes into the warm grains of sand, recalling Whitman’s words the night they met.
“Look, Kimberly. Over there, above the shimmering sea.”
She followed the direction that he pointed and she saw the harvest moon, silver and bright, and she thrilled to the rich tone of Whitman’s voice as he said, “I’ll give you that moon.”
She wanted to laugh with him, but she couldn’t. Something prevented her from feeling the joy that was so much a part of Whitman. He was a penniless poet and yet he seemed to be happier than she and Tony.
She was engaged to Tony. He offered her love, security, and wealth.
“I’m sorry, Whitman,” she had replied that night. “I can’t accept the moon. I’m engaged to Tony.”
“Ah, yes,” Whitman said.
She had laughed and he had laughed and the joy she felt was much greater than any feeling she had shared with Tony.
She ended her engagement with Tony and after time went by, he met and married Sarah.
Kimberly saw Whitman almost every day and she expected him to propose to her but there was no mention of marriage although he claimed to love her dearly.
So dearly that he gave her the stars along with the moon and that made her happy in a way that Tony never had.
Time passed and Tony and Sarah had a child, a little girl and people said that Tony adored the baby and that they were a happy family.
Whitman wrote poetry and he continued to be penniless but his poetry spoke of love and laughter, the moon, the stars and the sea.
Kimberly waited and she cried when Whitman wasn’t with her.
One day he said, “It’s over.” And he kissed her gently and said goodbye. He left and her heart felt like crushed velvet in an old-time dime store.
“Don’t go! It’s soon!” Kimberly cried.
The dark clouds hovered closer. And her heart declared, “The pain that’s in goodbye cries, ‘Look up, Whitman, see the dark and brooding sky? Where, Whitman, where is the silver moon?'”
© Freeda Baker Nichols