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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Autumn Noelle Hall

Like Two Ships

more like barges
starboard shining green and
port a-glowing red
we see each other passing
in the night...but dimly

Hauling her friends and their cargo, I can’t help but overhear their conversation.

“So...who do you ship?”

Once the last one is dropped off with a, “Txt me later, k?” I ask my teen to explain the slang.

“It’s an online thing, Mom. You really don’t want to know.”

“Yes, I do. Maybe you just really don’t want to tell me.”

Even in the dark, I sense The Look. Definitely port. Challenge accepted.

“It’s short for relationship, Mom. So, like, if someone imagines two characters having a fantasy romance, their names get combined.”

“Just their names?”

She matches my sarcasm with some of her own. “Whatever...anyway, if someone shipped Snape and Hermione, it could be, like, Snermione.”

“So, if I shipped Peter Pan and Captain Hook, it could be...Peter Pook? ‘Cause they’re actually on a ship, you know.”

“OMG, mom, you are SO ridiculous. Puh-lease just go back to writing poetry and leave the internet in my generation’s more capable hands, k?”

Starboard, but I can still feel her smiling.

Hard to believe that the person who now has all the answers for this brave new world is the same who once asked me a million questions.

first snow
what? the relationship
between wear and hat
why? the relationship
between water and sky




Snape and Hermione are characters from J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series.