Recounting pasts_-_

Barnard Reunion, May 29th 2015
I gave a ten minute faculty talk at the Barnard Reunion, then held a forty-five minute class. When my students arrived I was ready with pads and pens. I gave them fifteen minutes to write a poem. Then I read them aloud and we had a discussion. There was a good deal of crying. Seventeen Barnard alum and spouses make for a powerful room. Monika wrote five poems. Here are three:

Recounting pasts


So many – mine

and many – yours

then ours

This moment

an intersection

    of past + what’s next.

What’s next?




That Chair

Your chair

Empty now

Now what?




How could I forget

What you remembered?

You standing there.



I’m sorry.


Read a poem by Anonymous

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