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Reunion

A poem by Jacqueline Kudler

  • After the name-tag squinting and the quick refills
  • of Chablis, after the introductions, the recognitions —
  • eighteen-year-old faces peering out from behind
  • time’s compromises in the flesh — after the big-
  • bosomed hugs, the handshakes, the celebratory
  • speeches (only the reasonably self-satisfied
  • attend these things),
  • I wander out onto the campus quad wondering…
  • looking for why I’d come — the grass, the great
  • shade trees just as I’d remembered, light lingering
  • in the evening sky, loamy fragrances of late May
  • rising from my footsteps — exactly the kind of .
  • insidious spring I remember running
  • away with me each year.
  • No wonder I find her seated there on the steps
  • of Boylan Hall between classes — it was always
  • between classes in May — and the boy sprawled
  • beside her is the boy she’d been flirting with
  • the better part of freshman year.
  • When she looks up from her lap to meet
  • his gaze, she notices how his hair curls
  • over the rim of his fisherman’s cap,
  • and the impulse to reach over and touch
  • a small strand springing up just above his
  • left ear is so intense, it prickles in my
  • fingertips fifty years later.

Jacqueline Kudler is a teacher of memoir writing and literature at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary reviews and anthologies. Kudler was awarded the Marin Arts Council Board Award in 2005 and the Marin Poetry Center Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. She lives in Sausalito, California. “Reunion” is from her second book, Easing into Dark, published by Sixteen Rivers Press, and is reprinted by permission. Author’s photo by Mary Ann Pacula.

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  • After the name-tag squinting and the quick refills
  • of Chablis, after the introductions, the recognitions —
  • eighteen-year-old faces peering out from behind
  • time’s compromises in the flesh — after the big-
  • bosomed hugs, the handshakes, the celebratory
  • speeches (only the reasonably self-satisfied
  • attend these things),
  • I wander out onto the campus quad wondering…
  • looking for why I’d come — the grass, the great
  • shade trees just as I’d remembered, light lingering
  • in the evening sky, loamy fragrances of late May
  • rising from my footsteps — exactly the kind of .
  • insidious spring I remember running
  • away with me each year.
  • No wonder I find her seated there on the steps
  • of Boylan Hall between classes — it was always
  • between classes in May — and the boy sprawled
  • beside her is the boy she’d been flirting with
  • the better part of freshman year.
  • When she looks up from her lap to meet
  • his gaze, she notices how his hair curls
  • over the rim of his fisherman’s cap,
  • and the impulse to reach over and touch
  • a small strand springing up just above his
  • left ear is so intense, it prickles in my
  • fingertips fifty years later.

Jacqueline Kudler is a teacher of memoir writing and literature at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary reviews and anthologies. Kudler was awarded the Marin Arts Council Board Award in 2005 and the Marin Poetry Center Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. She lives in Sausalito, California. “Reunion” is from her second book, Easing into Dark, published by Sixteen Rivers Press, and is reprinted by permission. Author’s photo by Mary Ann Pacula.

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Comments
1

this is so insidiously awesome..bravo!!!

i'm tempted to buy that book

May 16, 2012

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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