You may wonder why I send you this postcard of a sailboat with a long and distant bridge behind it. This is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and there are many cars traveling across its span. I have to look hard at the postcard to see the cars, but I know they are there. They are filled with families headed to the Eastern Shore, to motels with words like surf and wind in their names. I know. I was on this bridge once.  

The sailboat on the evening ocean has no name or road. It sails to no motel. The sailboat is at rest. It drifts below the traffic on the bridge. Far below all that yearning to be in some other place. The only sound here is the slap of water on the hull, the creak of the rigging. A lull between a storm-tossed dream and waking. 

The sailboat may pass others like it, without rudder or road. No anchor. They keep their distance. You once wanted me to drop anchor, but I wouldn’t. I think of you sometimes, imagine you on the bridge high above me, going to or from a motel with seashell sheets. I send you this postcard so that you will see me larger than the bridge. See my sufficient sails. Larger than this ocean.

Barbara Westwood Diehl is a Maryland writer and senior editor of The Baltimore Review. Her fiction and poetry have been published in a variety of journals, including a couple of recent publications in Flash Boulevard and the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. Also a poem in The TELEPHONE Project.

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