Mr. Magpie

Twilight on the Potomac.

By: Jen Shoop

I love the end of a date,

when we return to the cocoon of our car, and drive these familiar roads we have known

longer than each other,

twilight spinning past us on the Potomac.

Give me Clara Barton, or GW, or Rock Creek — no stoplights, all foliage, and the cut you make against the waning daylight as striking now as it was when I was just eighteen,

as though time has chiseled away at all but you and your handsome profile these past twenty years we have clung together, unsure of much but one another.

“Shoops against the world,” you’ve said, when we’ve found ourselves backed against a wall, lost, grieving, exhausted. It has felt that way, recently, during stretches of this pandemic, and during this busy season of life, and during interstate moves, and during sleepless nights looking after newborn babies. It has been a gracious minute since we’ve huddled behind the screen of those words, though. Since the move, since our children have officially moved out of the baby years, life has softened like butter left out on the countertop. And so I find myself shushing the morose midnight visitations that whisper: life is rarely this good as I peer into the dark as though something sinister awaits. Early morning phone calls send a shiver down my spine, and I can’t dispel the dark divination that on my next doctor’s visit, something wicked this way comes.

But not during those crepuscular drives along these parkways of our youth. We are then suspended in time, caught somewhere between the befores and the afters, and it as though no force can disrupt the confident, inviolable movements of our flotilla-of-two. During those post-prandial spirals along the Potomac, it is you and me only, untrafficked by menace or memory.

We arrive eventually at home, full and happy, and life again spills out around us.

But during those evening trips home, I sit full of brave illusions, or perhaps absent of them, and in any case, am able to drown out everything but the sure sound of your voice and steady grasp of your hand.


+All the things I won’t soon forget about my husband.

+We have an easy kind of love.

+There is no space between us.

Shopping Break.

+This wipeable pool pouch is in my cart…

+As is this eyelet skirt and the matching top!

+Can’t wait to wear this dress I ordered earlier this month. Also eyeing this top from the same brand.

+I had to order these happy $8 earrings. I also love these more expensive cheerful hoops.

+This looks a lot like a much more expensive tennis dress from Lululemon. (More tennis finds here, to which I must add this fab Lacoste skirt!)

+This easy striped t-shirt dress looks so easy to throw on at the end of a day.

+Perfect pool tote — love the monogram style, too.

+WOW this dramatic slip dress.

+Cutest nightgown for a little one.

+Such a great striped tee — love the green color.

+Lusting after these hot pink Dior slides.

+These are such great (inexpensive!) plush towels to keep on hand for beach/pool/sprinkler/etc. I also like these oversized ones for a true beach day.

+How FAB is this blue crab platter for those of us in the mid-Atlantic?!

+Great gift for a one-year-old. My children still play with these, which my son got when he was maybe 15 months old.

+This belt is gorgeous.

+My favorite shorts Hill owns this season. We now have three colors/patterns!

+Black linen pull on pants for beach/home.

+SUCH a great desk at such a great price! Perfect for a small study or teen’s room.

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2 thoughts on “Twilight on the Potomac.

  1. I love this. There are times when it feels like you pull the unspoken words right out of my heart. You have such a gift.

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