“With Smiles and Photographs” by E.V. Wyler

Sparkling like the midday sun, resting

on the sea’s crystalized horizon, Emily looked

lovely, smiling in her royal blue cap and gown,

touching the golden tassel on her mortarboard,

topped with the words “Thanks Mom and Dad.”

Tassels on the right turn to the left; Emily poses

with classmates and poses with family;

each segment of her day is punctuated

with smiles and photographs…


Three days after the graduation,

we fly Jet Blue to Orlando, visiting

4 Disney parks in 5 days…

With our skin sautéing in sweat and

sunscreen, we repeat the tourists’ ritual:

pose… smile… click…

until it makes us all impatient and cranky

(because there is no “fast pass”

for smiles and photographs…)


Five days after the family vacation,

a large U-Haul truck backs out of our driveway,

heading towards Chicago and Emily’s new job,

studio apartment, and her next life’s chapter…

Yet, in Emily’s old bedroom, on top of her empty

dresser, there’s still the mortarboard

that reads “Thanks Mom and Dad,” and on

our closet shelf, there is a new album, filled

with smiles and photographs…







E.V. “Beth” Wyler grew up in Elmont, NY.  At 43, she obtained her associate’s degree from Bergen Community College.  She and her husband, Richard, share their empty nest with 3 cats and a beta fish.

a middle-aged homemaker and poet who lives in New Jersey with 3 children, 3 cats, 2 beta fish, and her husband, Richard. Her poems have been featured in The Storyteller, WestWard Quarterly, Feelings of the Heart, Nuthouse, The Pine Times, The Pink Chameleon, The Rotary DialVox Poetica, and on The Society of Classical Poets‘ website.