Wednesday, December 23, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

suddenly there on the train
to Oslo. And me, there,
figuring it’s ok, imagining
what, an affair? A hook
up? Is it too late for that?
So he was a student of mine
in another life, not one
who made my face burn,
made me shiver like Sal
Falova but a skinny good old
boy who loved poetry so
much he salted away one of
the only two copies of
one of my books in
his military trench coat. Those
days with writing work shops
at my house, at St Rose
where I read poems too
scandalous for some
but the nuns adored them.
Summer of divorce
and George was there, often, as
if ready to step in tho it was
not for me. I got my book
back, never gave him what he
wanted. Sometimes a poem
of his in a magazine. Same
formal, almost academic
piece about a Kentucky field
or the last thoughts of a
Confederate general. So many
years in other cities, never a
thought of his stillness,
forgetting maybe he took me
home after I drank too
much to get thru a reading—
old enough to have a son the
age he was. Just a few words
at a reading back in town,
no electricity, 5 minutes talk
maybe and then I slid back
to Virginia. So how am
I hip to hip, my head on his
shoulder heading past
snow peaks? Oslo, already
with its warming quilts,
mugs of mulled wine and
this feeling a feeling, a
freshness I haven’t felt
for too long

*Lyn's website:

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