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Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Today I am thinking about being very young, maybe 19, and walking in the halls of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Philippines at Diliman, with an old dear friend who is still a dear friend. We were quoting back and forth from Edna St. Vincent Millay. Two college students, with all our lives ahead of us.

Then, I flash forward a few years to when I was still young and living in New York and certain things, like the Staten Island Ferry existed outside of time and when I rode it for the first time, I thought of this poem, “Recuerdo.” And then I thought of walking down the halls of AS in Diliman and the long conversations with my friend.

UP is a very beautiful campus and there is a long walk shaded by acacia trees that cast long golden shadows in the tropical evenings.

And I think also, of my own daughter, who is a young woman living in New York and riding the subway.

And I think again, of “Recuerdo” while the snow is falling, falling, falling and another day in January slips into the next with the sound of a child playing the piano, and another one singing, and the endless march of cats, walking with their tails straight up, hoping for an endless dinner.

RECUERDO by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry–
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable–
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on the hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry–
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawlcovered head,
And bought a moming paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and the pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

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