Reunion: J-School, Class of 19--

By Beverley Bie Brahic Beverley Bie Brahic
Cutlery clatters into the sink.
But always the characters, uniquely themselves,
only some decades older. They search
for their coats. You were, she reminds him,
our resident nomad, come to pitch your tent
here, sidewalks for sand, unaccustomed taboos:
Morningside Heights, one of your lives.
                                        Thirty years
since the awkward goodbye? Before he goes—
East Africa his beat, Germany hers—he’ll
visit the nephew, the namesake in Boston
who drives a cab, sends a pittance each month
to a wellhead in—we’ll call it Sudan.
He explains how it works, this drip feed
of cash to Sudan from the United States:
cheap, fast. She’s not clear about this—he jots
her a website: it’s a place she can go.
So they won’t meet again...suddenly
Can you forgive me? he blurts—
a classmate’s apartment, Upper West Side,
the grown child’s room, bears
in tidy shrines, scrum of sloughed coats.
In the kitchen friends wash up. Sound
of laughter. Sound of water flowing
out of a tap. Yes, she replies, shocked
by the twinge, then ache, of remorse.
She “forgot”? And him—thirty years—
the place still hurts? It’s myself I can’t forgive,
she knows later. Right now, vague shame.
End of March. Maybe April. Street trees
are trying to bloom. The irretrievable
sits on the table, white as a plate. He holds her
her coat.

Source: Poetry (April 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2012
 Beverley  Bie Brahic


Poet and translator Beverley Bie Brahic was born in Canada and now lives in Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry collection White Sheets (CB editions, 2012) was a finalist for the Forward Prize. Her work has appeared in Field, Literary Imagination, Notre Dame Review, the Southern Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere.

Beverley Bie Brahic’s translations include Guillaume Apollinaire: The Little Auto (CB . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Life Choices, Time & Brevity, Activities, Jobs & Working


Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.