Vacation had been unfolding as if charmed. With car windows open, idling in the small grocery’s parking lot, we studied the local map of Provincetown.

If Mary Oliver would only wander past, all would be perfect. And there she was, seen through the windshield, walking, head down and hands in pockets, toward the store.

“Excuse me,” I blurted. “Are you Mary Oliver?”

Shocked, she tensed and sputtered, “No!”

Quickly: “Well, if you were, I would just want to say that your work has meant a great deal to me.”

An uncertain pause, then, “Thank you,” and her generous smile.


Rhonda Shary is a poet, fiction writer, and visual artist, and adjunct professor of women’s, Native American, and contemporary literature, living and working in the Hudson River Valley of New York. She plans to venture into NaNoWriMo this year, embracing the inverse of 100 Words.

Photo credit: Nicole

4 Responses to ““Real””

  1. jeffswitt says:

    This was an excellent use of 100 words, thanks! Jeff

  2. Holly Brady says:

    A wonderful moment, captured perfectly. Bravo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *