Smooth white rocks line the familiar bed
A sad child sits close beside me by the stream
Providing me a harbor where I come to scream.
Yabbies, mountain lobster or mudbugs
Crawdads swimming against Nature’s mirror
I point them out to the girl who is now nearer.
Appalachian bristle fern surrounds us
No one will attend my nursing graduation
I share my news with these spirited crustaceans.
There will be no pictures or celebrations
Tadpoles are frolicking in a delightful fashion
My walk onstage will offer up silence, not passion.
Tears forming in my sore eyes yet once again
As I lean over, I see them mixing with the stream
This place of God’s where I come back to scream.
Who is this child I wonder as she offers me a hug
My parents drunk again, why on this specific week
The River Birch’s leaves begin to clap and speak
Myself and I have returned for refuge at the creek.
By Joni Caggiano 1/13/20
During school, I worked two jobs to pay for my college. It was not unusual for my parents to be absent for any family activity throughout my entire education. When the ceremony ended, I was standing by myself. I watched while parents, grandparents, and siblings showed other students such love and pride. Many received large armfuls of flowers. Feeling sad, I was very blessed that a friend saw me all alone and offered to take a picture with her family’s camera. This picture, the only one I have to share, was an exceptional blessing.
Photo was taken by a fellow nursing student.