Saturday, January 12, 2013

Michan: We Never Said Good-Bye

I started a Master's of Fine Arts: Creative Writing program this week.  It has a low-residency requirement of one week each semester on campus, and, since it is offered by the college where I am employed (Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe) and this is a busy week in admissions activity for the spring semester (I am the Director of Undergraduate Admissions and am functioning currently as the Transfer Coordinator, as well), I have been arriving at the office around 7:00-7:30 each morning and leaving campus around 8:00-9:00 each night.  I'm tired - but I have loved this week, unequivocally and passionately.  

I am in the Creative Non-Fiction genre, but we had a cross-genre workshop yesterday.  I chose poetry.  We were assigned to write a love poem without using hundreds of words commonly used in love poems.  We then were asked to write a piece, from any genre, focused on a specific moment of importance in our lives that occured within a specific time frame we had identified at the beginning of the assignment that held special significance for us. 

I chose my high school years, and I want to share the pieces I wrote.  I have written hundreds of posts on this blog and literally thousands of comments on other blogs and in discussion groups, but these are my favorites of everything I have written in my life:


We met – unplanned, unanticipated, unbidden – no idea what lay ahead.

16 and 15 – too young and immature, right?  

Quick connection – recognized more instantly by me than her.

That piano bench, just a glance – future recognition of endless past.

Two years to dance, two years not so, then twenty-six years more –

College, children, heartache, joy – peace throughout it all. 

Where she starts – where I end – what is her – what me?

Looking forward toward unknown, enough simply to be.   

We Never Said Good-Bye

The program lasted twelve days; I dreaded its end for eleven days and twenty-three hours. 

We didn’t touch the entire two weeks.  We talked.  Oh, how we talked – hour after hour, minute upon minute, inseparable, the focus of whispered questions and gossip – sharing dreams for the future and experiences from the past.  She told me about her frustrations, her family, past crushes, a former boyfriend; I listened a lot and spoke a bit, content to be with her and moved by her.  I missed the dance – my only chance to hold her. 

We walked, side-by-side, still not touching, not talking about why we were going where we were going.  We ignored it – not intentionally, but completely, nonetheless. 
Her dad was waiting when we arrived.  I said hello, introduced myself, shook hands, exchanged brief small talk.  He said they needed to leave to stay on schedule.  They walked away. So did I, not wanting to see her disappear. 
I learned later she turned and looked back.  I wasn’t there.  She realized at that moment she really did love me. 
Thirty years and six children later, while writing about that moment, I suddenly realize we never said good-bye.  

We never said good-bye.  

The moment I dreaded never arrived. 
I will share this with her when I return home tonight and touch her for the hundred millionth time.


Anonymous said...

It would be my favorite too.

Papa D said...

I added the poem I wrote as part of the first assignment.

Mama D said...

I like the subtle changes in the poem. You have such a way with words.

Thank you for the best years of my life, for your boundless love, and for every non-touch and touch over the past 30 years.