The Years we Lived in Cambridge by June Beisch

The years we lived in Cambridge
by June Beisch

first, in the apartment on the Charles River where
the sycamores shed their skins to reveal
a patched nakedness, a pied sensuality, then
high up on the sixth floor in a grand apartment
filled with English antiques and a grand piano.
But when we found the house we wanted to buy,
life became, suddenly, less than it was.

Then, too, walking through Harvard Square,
there were always young people everywhere
laughing and talking. One day, I pass a young woman,
her arms filled with books and feel a flash
of her face in the yearbook years from now.
Her smile freezes and I feel my life
paginating, paginating,

and I become a fragment of her past
since these school years are always a part
of someone’s past, as are these sepia trees and grass,
these pupils dilating letting in light. This
wind-swept yard, this meagerness of grass.
Will she remember it as I do? Will she recall
a middle aged woman she happened to pass
on a narrow path line with statues
taking up space in the land of the living?

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