04 May 2009

Mellifluous Mondays: A Goodbye Sort of Poem

"The First Day" by Christina Rossetti

I wish I could remember the first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me;
If bright or dim the season it might be;
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So, unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to forsee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom, yet, for many a May.

If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! Did one but know!

It's my last full week on campus. Thinking back over four years, I realize that with many of my close friends, I have no recollection of our first meeting: my impressions, what we talked about, where we were. That's okay. A friendship is no less complete if its beginnings have been forgotten.

Still, it would be nice to know. Precision of memory can provide milestones, markers, specific points at which to say "Do you remember when we first walked over this bridge?" or "Do you remember our first class in that tiny moldy stuffy room in Kresge?" It is easier to feel that you've come full circle if you recall where the circle began.

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