The COED

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Death of a college friend

Submitted: December 07, 2007

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Submitted: December 07, 2007

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The COED

“Coed”

Now that’s a word that

brings back memories -

of bright young women

sauntering across the

Denison University

Quadrangle

carrying textbooks.

Memories – of a time

when bobbysocks,

ankle-length skirts

and brown loafers

went out of fashion –

Oh happy day!

Memories - of young men

pouring over

the ‘Baby-Book’ pictures

to pick out the prettiest

Coed Freshman -

We were in predatory

rut each Autumn,

grossly immature Frat brothers

with vaulting egos.

Memories – more personal -

of grey eyes and

a Slavic-pretty face.

Girlfriend? No – out of my league.

Just agood person to know,

and respecting.

Unseen for decades,

separated by oceans.

Incognito,

she ran her business

electronically.

Benefactress,

career famous

in her industry,

quietly collecting

professional awards.

To proud to be seen,

no client suspecting

she lived in a wheelchair.

I learned some years ago,

she had died.

Obituary in the

alumni magazine,

newspaper articles

on the Net.

Cruel and compelling

irony -

contemporaries in disease,

yet she died,

and I did not.

Near the end she asked:

"Does it always

take this long to die?"

Found grace to cope -

in the end.

Five things she left for me:

Three photographs

shot in healthier times –

she studied ballet

and had great legs.

Her sorority mug –

like her I keep pencils in it,

must be the only one

like it in Australia -

her name embossed,

as if I'd forget.

Her widowed mother’s address -

bereft of her only child,

in need of comfort,

even if long distance -

still writes.

A small icon –

momento of her funeral,

Orthodox expression

of faith re-renewed -

sum of a life –

1947 – 2000.

And memories -

of a bright young woman

sauntering across the Quadrangle,

carrying her textbooks.

byJames Gagiikwe 2007


© Copyright 2017 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

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