Monday, January 5, 2009

Wits in Winter

The sky is as high and blue
as it was all those years ago.
The air is crispy, crunchy clean,
sharp. Campus is quiet,
students sit on the benches I sat on. Read books.
carry the heavy bags as I did. They stroll in groups.
The air is still: stopped. Life here
exists outside of the rush of work
and traffic, it’s an oasis, calmed on the
edges of the city.

Climbing the spiral, outdoor stairs,
I cling to the railing, don’t look down,
slightly full of vertigo,
as before. Memories come back suddenly,
alarmingly. Twists of the past, intertwined with now.
I could be eighteen, nineteen, twenty again, slightly too
plump in black leggings and oversized top.
But, I’m not. A lecturer passes and I’m closer in age
to him that the students surrounding us .

But it’s there, making me catch my breath,
as though there isn’t enough oxygen here.
Caught between then and now, I’m finally time-travelling,
poised on an edge, here, but somehow there too.
aching, pained, unhappy, lonely,
her face young and bare of make-up, too pale for the day that awaits.

Published in New Coin 44, number 2, December 2008

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