Writers Corner: Marriage by Barbara Mellin
Barbara and Bruce Mellin

By Barbara Mellin

“I’ll meet you in the middle,”
you say, casually, as you descend
to the lower level to check your email
before heading to the garden or garage.

You open your laptop to find
all your files lined neatly along one edge,
stacked like building blocks
for quick retrieval.

You embrace the structure
with straightforward ease.
A few clicks and you have
accomplished your goal.

Mostly visible, your monitor
displays a seascape photo:
ocean waves crashing against
rugged rocks off the coast of Cape Ann,

The New England shore we visited
on our first outing, fifty years ago.
I love that photo, and I love
that you love it, too.

You stood out in a hurricane to get that shot,
the sea mist in your mustache
and the wind whipping at your face.
“Be careful,” I commanded, quite in vain.

I head upstairs to my studio.
My computer screen, obscured behind
a cluttered collage of tiny icons, thumbnail images
and text overlapping more text.

Beneath it all, slivers of a screen saver
reveal another favorite photo:
that marketplace in Rome
full of people, produce and Renaissance buildings.

I need see only a hint of the image
to remember that day.
We bought a chess set and sat for an
hour eating gelato at a sidewalk café.

We tried briefly to share an office once,
and one computer, followed by days of
frustration and mutual annoyance, as
my creative chaos clashed with your well-ordered world.

Now you are down, and I am up.
We each inhabit our own space
knowing it is but a small place within a larger one
that we occupy together.

“Ok,” I reply. “I’ll meet you in the middle.”
And as I work at my desk,
I look forward to coffee in the kitchen
and the discussion of our day . . . so far,

And our days ahead,
conversations inexhaustible, exuberant,
confident that our years together will
continue strong.

For we have so very much in common.

Barbara Mellin is a local artist and a juried member of the Associated Artists of Winston Salem, an exhibiting member of The Muddy River Art Association, the AFAS (Art for Art’s Sake) Group, Women Painters of the South East, Printmakers of North Carolina, and serves on the board of the Winston Salem Writers. For more information, visit


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