How can I bear to leave this place,

take the next boat out into the harbor,

pass the buoy, toss

a penny into the water for a return?

How can I bear leaving after 39 years —

built my own house, planted my garden,

tall-trees design, skylight to watch the evening sky,

see the night flight plane lights

blinking their way across the sea.

But I must leave after 39 years,

so many reasons.

The only words that make sense are:

“I shall return.”

— Ruth Twichell Cochrane

May 7, 2008