It is so beautiful, Macalester College, July on the college green
Hydrangeas weeded, rose bushes, trees pruned, grass pristine.
After the tumult of spring semester, the exams, the term papers
On Dickens and Plato's Republic and the kinetic theory of the saturation of water vapors.
And then graduation anxiety,
And graduation and a night of insobriety,
And then the departure for a summer teaching English in Spain
Leaving behind this great yard between the Chapel and Old Main
This peaceful sweet-smelling
Paradise at Grand Avenue and Snelling
Where a girl walks out of Weyerhaeuser, in cargo pants and Birkenstocks,
Reading a book of poetry as she walks
Past a couple on the lawn, holding hands,
In the giddy early stage of their romance.
A guy speeds by on his bike, head phones on and his backpack. It
Holds a neon green jacket and a tennis racket
Outside Old Main, a girl with bright red hair and yoga clothes
Sits, legs extended, and touches her forehead to her toes.
Wind turbine is whirring like crazy in the Quad.
A jogger runs, singing along to his iPod.
On the tennis courts, the thwop of the volley, the squeak of shoes,
Boys and girls, 10-12, learning footwork, volleys, strokes and follow-throughs,
Bikes in the bike rack, helmets hanging on the handle bars, no locks.
People sitting at an umbrella table, eating lunch from a lunchbox.
An empty campus. One feels the disconnect
Gone is the cast of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht.
Are the students who built an igloo on Kagin Lawn.
And outstanding student athletes like Izzi Speer, Will
Matsuda, Papa Diop, Eric Biggers, Dylan Saul
And Laura Avena who hit 1,000 "kills" in volleyball.
A few weeks ago they walked across this green:
Auburn Jimenez the cross-country champion who also
kicked three field goals to help Macalester beat Trinity
We can feel their shadows on the wall:
Fulbright Scholarship Winners: Rebecca Galey, Ann
Huber, Charles Nesler, Jon Dahl,
And Sarah Rasmussen who will do research in Nepal.
Lucy Andrews-geology major, Women's Track and Field captain,
Who spoke at commencement, wrapped in
Her gown and stole, and spoke to Rachel, Renee, Jeremy, Johnny,
And Abigail Stowe-Thurston awarded a scholarship to
study languages in Azerbaijani.
And now the Class of 2014 is gone, gone, gone,
And we the tired, the old, the jaded, sit on their lawn
And listen to music from way back when
And imagine we are twenty again,
Single, anxious, in love with our own ideals,
And making three meals
A day of breakfast cereal.
Thanks to the college for letting us in.
On September 3rd, fall classes begin.
In just two months.
I was young once
And such a state I was in you'd
Not want it to be continued.