Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27

We're writing poetic letters this month!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Laulette,

    You kept me from leaving Goucher.
    First semester was hell on wheels
    the field stone monochrome on brown
    grass with tan flagstone paths in mud,
    living in Anna Heubeck in Bennett Hall
    with Debby flaunting her sexy clothes
    Hazel showing me Jill’s messy room
    and saying “Never, never let this
    happen to you,” Faith Wing and Sue
    and Nina the piano woman. Carol
    and Kathy and Hopie and Jessie,
    Sussie and Arlene, so many others,
    all different and none in tune with
    my serious side, my love of learning,
    trying to cope with Holly and Deena
    sharing a room meant for two, always
    wishing I’d disappear and leave them
    to the life of fashion that suited them.

    The Dean of Students moved me
    to a double with you in Tuttle Hall
    for second semester after my complaints.
    You and I spent hours debating philosophy
    in our room, the Froehlicher dining hall,
    outdoors, in the Heubeck dorm basement
    laundry area while the snow
    melted away and golden flowered
    locust trees joined blossoming cherries and
    dazzling white Bradford pears, petals
    scattered by the gentle breeze.
    I loved biology but you hated it,
    couldn’t get science, feared it had
    evil motives that might threaten
    nature and humans’ purposes. You
    wrote amusing poems about the Krebs Cycle
    tried to make the words accessible
    without ever connecting with reality.

    We went to concerts at Goucher, Peabody, and
    Hopkins, marveled at Susan prancing
    for Hopkins young professors, sucked in
    our breath when our best soprano hit that
    soaring note in Coronation Mass.
    Laulette, you made me wish I didn’t have
    a fur collar on my tan suit, didn’t date
    a Navy cadet, although Nan was the one
    who glorified violence, and I professed
    to hate it and wanted to avoid it. We
    laughed at Wilma’s super seriousness,
    even too much for me, but it wasn’t a
    mean or exclusionary laugh.

    You managed to be kind to everyone
    even those who disagreed with
    everything you believed. You
    imagined piloting your plane over Montana
    when you needed to distance yourself
    from a conversation that might
    enrage you. You stayed calm. You never
    cut anyone off, even Cathy who had
    made your life so miserable you had
    to move to another room, so we got
    a double together. We talked about
    lesbians and felt it was okay for some,
    but that we weren’t going that way,
    although you wrote me a poem about
    the bitten apple that made me wonder.

    You never came back for sophomore year.
    I thought biology persuaded you
    Goucher wasn’t for you. By that time,
    it was right for me and I stayed all four years.
    Last year, I looked you up online.
    You went back home, finished college,
    married, had kids, performed music,
    won flying contests for women pilots,
    had a rich life. I hope it fulfilled for you
    that wild philosophic streak
    that was so exciting to explore with you
    back in the 1960s in our one semester.