In memoriam

After four years I still can’t believe
you will never again gust into a classroom,
hair wild and wavy as though you’d just alit
from a motorcycle or a speeding horse.
You won’t recite Greek roots with scary fervor
or tell a quiet tomboy to loosen up
and write more like a woman, an instruction
I resented, though I’m starting to understand.

You’d just been through divorce and you were fighting
for tenure at an institution crowded
with older men, though you’d have stood out anywhere
except the pub where you bought us pitchers of Bass.
Though I knew only a little of your pain,
I can’t help thinking I might have saved you
by showing you yourself, that bold spirit
that taught us to sing in a new key.

I think you’d like to know you’re on my mind
as I drive through pine-plush mountains
crowned with clouds, sunlit on top
but nearly black beneath. Windows down,
I pass in and out of shadow —
sun, dark, sun — but always forward,
keeping my own sharp longings at arm’s length,
learning to live with disappointment.


One comment

  1. […] isn’t exactly a real post, just a pointer to this poem I wrote a couple of days […]

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