Hunger Mountain - Vermont College Journal of the arts
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P.S. —

by Sam Ross

I see my old student on the train
and she sees me.

She looks different. Older sure, but
patient, even graceful.

The moment is a swimming pool
draining in autumn.

Our eyes meet and make apologies.
I had failed her, then

quit, leaving her back in school
with seed-shells on the floor.

I had often felt too restless
to teach anyone anything,

but as she says my name today
I start to remember

that I used to know if she was happy
by looking at her hair.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kathryn Stern March 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm

I love this poem, how it captures that awkward moment when you see someone you knew and felt some unfulfilled responsibility towards, after a certain amount of time has gone by. I love that swimming pool, those seed-shells, and how the poem builds to the last stanza, which reveals more about the girl in two lines than could be said in a whole paragraph, and so much about the narrator, who despite his restlessness, shows such deep powers of observation and emotional connectedness.

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