The Necklace

By Elizabeth Gaucher

May 19, 2014

The Necklace

In the 1970s, a necklace dangled long and lonely over our Kick the Can circle at the end of the street. Legend had it that a neighborhood boy had flung it, swung his arm like some cartoon pitcher and released the chain into the blue. It had been a soaring serpent, a dragon scraping the moon with its wings. Children who witnessed the moment were different from the rest of us. They said the chain streamlined, then widened and descended, its pendant dragging it back to earth in a sudden turnabout. He only threw it once. On the way down the chain caught a thick black telephone wire and there it lived forever. No other launches of footballs, baseballs, air-powered rockets, or stones from our driveways could undo destiny. 

The necklace is a thousand miles away, but some nights when my mind is racing and sleep is hard to find, I’ll see a slender silhouette moving back and forth in space. I try to recall if the pendant was a heart or a peace sign or a cross, or if I ever knew what it was. I ponder why that boy had the necklace, if he threw away something precious to someone else with intention. Things become lost, and yet we see them forever, just out of reach. They are both there and not there, they are gone and they are present. They sway in the dark and rock me to sleep.


Photo "Looks Like a Hipster Tee Shirt" provided by Steven Dominguez, via Flickr creative commons license.

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