Diary, Prose Poems

I thought I saw you

Though I knew it wasn’t you, I still looked longingly, as if her young form could be you, in the Toyota Tercel turning left onto Spring Park Road, you, when I first met you in 1991 in the bookstore at UBC in the fall, when you were young and healthy. It was something in her jaw, I think, and the shape of the shoulders and the arm. I couldn’t see her eyes. If I’d seen her eyes, I would have wondered how I could possibly have thought she was you. Her hair was the length yours was then and wavy, like yours was. And honey brown. And she was wearing a green sweater, a thin one, elegant and smooth on her very slender form, and it seemed that it could be a sweater you would have worn. Though after you were sick the first time you started wearing red more often and had a pair of slacks with a dragon on one leg. The air is so autumnal, it could be the air that reminds me of that first phone call in the fall, 10 years ago, the first time you got sick. And again, in the later fall, 5 years ago, the even harder call that told me I would never see you, not again in the form that I knew you, not on this earth, not in your body. She is moving gracefully in her own body, the determined woman in the green sweater turning left, and she is not your ghost. And yet I looked at her and felt the waters of my heart move, seeking you, wondering, seeing you again as you were and as you might have been, and loving this sweet sadness that knows I could not miss you if I had not loved you, and bowing before the blessing that you were here at all, ever, in this world, and we met.

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2 thoughts on “I thought I saw you

    • Thanks for posting your comment, Marlies. I think of Gabi often – her spirit is so alive – there are so many reminders of her about my home, gifts from her, and situations that remind me of her. I sometimes imagine what she would say if I narrated an experience to her – our friendship stays alive for me and her grace and practicality and vitality and intelligence still influence my life. I wrote a poem for her last year that was published this year at Arts East. This is the link: http://artseast.blogspot.com/2011/08/lavender-for-gabi-by-beth-e-janzen.html.
      Take good care…. Beth

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