"Cape May, New Jersey”

                Cape May is made of color. They folded it, wrapped it, molded and sculpted it into a city of rainbow opulence. The houses float through time as message bottles on the saltsea, bottles full of propriety and nobility robed in royal hues of purple and blue. Sometimes even pink.

Who lives in the most colorful houses has understood the message, taken it to heart. They conduct themselves as Victorians—stand erect, speak correctly, observe the rules of society.

I saw a child’s birthday part in a house so purple—oh!—paint could not imitate the color. The house was made of light. White lawn furniture dotted the yard, each piece poised, exactly placed. Stemware on every table, names on every seat. Two ponies trotted about the backyard as a violinist tuned up in the front.

I didn’t see the birthday child, but imagined my daughter having such a party. I dreamt I could give her ponies and violins and a buffet for thirty served on glistening white lawn furniture.

Our house is not so colorful; Jessica would have no ponies.

So we will never walk together by the houses made of light. Those purples and blues—sometimes pinks—will not brighten her childhood memories. She would lament for what she did not have, for the muted tones our house contained by contrast to Cape May.

I love Jessica too much for her to suffer that.

She will never see the colors of Cape May.


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