morning poem, april 25, 2015

It had been thirty-three years

But I knew her the moment I saw her

She had changed, of course

So much so, that I am now surprised that

My recognition of her was so immediate and sure.


I was in western Virginia (her part of the world)

Traveling between sales calls

And I stopped at a coffee bar where I knew I could

Get just what I wanted, just the way I wanted it

While I was standing in line there

I saw her

She was sitting at a high table

With others

I don’t know whether she saw me first

But she did not let on

I knew her from her blue, blue eyes

And the smile and the tilted head

Like she suspected you of something

Not quite right but forgivable.


She was a horse-woman in her day

The day I knew her

Her family was on the edge of being cash-poor then

But owned, free and clear, ten-thousand acres of the best farmland in the state

Mountain meadows and pastures, a stable full of horses.

The Cowpasture River ran through their estate

At fifteen, she was bored with rural life and already looking for a way out

At eighteen I was on the rebound from what I then thought unjust treatment

By some high-school beauty

And so the two of us hoped in each other

We wrote letters my first two years of college

Then way led on to way.


I did not even speak to her

There with someone who might have been her husband

I walked past her without acknowledgement.

But I know she knew me

And I would have sensed her in the place

Even if I had been blind.

copyright 2015

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