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Party for Alumni, and: Quite Frankly, and: Durance
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three poems by 189 mark halliday Party for Alumni At the very moment when I ought to have been entirely focused on geshnarna, with sweet appreciation of the dance of generations, of youth blossoming while my middle age ticks toward late middle age, sweet acceptance of how life must become centered on geshnarna, on helping younger people celebrate their vitality without getting hurt, at that very moment I remembered zuleibrya sudden with presence and awareness and widening eyes suddenly shocking in the elevator at the Hyatt Regency and I trembled for some strange defiant revival of zuleibrya in my own only gentle ticking only life. 190 ecotone They got old, they got old and died. But first— okay but first they composed plangent depictions of how much they lost and how much they cared about losing. Meantime their hair got thin and more thin as their shoulders went slumpy. Okay but not before the photo albums got arranged by them, arranged with a niftiness, not just two or three but eighteen photo albums, yes, eighteen, eventually, eighteen albums proving the beauty of them (and not someone else), them and their relations and friends, incontrovertible playing croquet in that Bloomington yard, floating on those comic inflatables at Dow Lake, giggling at the Dairy Queen, waltzing at the wedding, building a Lego palace on the porch, holding the baby beside the rental truck, leaning on the Hemingway statue at Pamplona, discussing the eternity of art in that Sardinian restaurant. Yes! And so, quite frankly—at the end of the day— they got old and died okay sure but quite frankly how much does that matter in view of the eighteen photo albums, big ones thirteen inches by twelve inches each full of such undeniable beauty? Quite Frankly 191 Here next to the railroad bridge is the Governor Morehead School for the Blind standing brick upon brick in the sun. Under the bridge go the rusty tracks straight and straight away. Those boxcars on the tracks dappled with rust have no way of moving. They stand there in the sun. At an upstairs window in the Morehead School Charlene feels the slightest breeze. Charlene hears the silence made by no train passing. She hears in her head the chatter of kids like birds playing kickball in Pullen Park. Thousands and thousands of oak leaves shade the road through the park and after she does her math problems Charlene will go out and listen in the oak shade to the kids and the leaves. Durance mark halliday ...