Girl with a Smile

The first real recollection Is the smile on her face In the final year class Of ninety-eight. A year of decision. One where my vision Was selfish to self. And would have been One to regret. If she’d chosen just to follow the sun. [10] The chance to redeem Came first in a letter. And next when I saw The same smiling face Looking up from a bench On the campus of Tuks, In two thousand and two. [7] First came her obstinate choice For a ‘lucky-packet’ of topics. Thankfully, and eventually, She elected to supplicate By dissertation alone. So it’s lucky for me A chance to engage As I should’ve Had things been different In ninety-eight. Now in my role of supporter I could meet and debate Matters related to the patterns of Jewry With the woman who had A smile on her face In the final year class Of ninety-eight. [7]


It had to be trust, and a mutual one. As I knew little to nothing About life in the Pale, Baltic departures, And subsidized passages To Cape Town of those En route to the Rand. And neither knew awt Of the spatial patterns That Jewry had stamped on the City of Gold. [10] Just as miners before her Had to seek a promising site To dig for the payable gold, She too had to search depositories Where the patterns sought Were uncovered by the one with a smile In the class of ninety-eight. [7} Draft after draft, And month after month, We met in a house where Unknownst to us both Death was already smousing around. As she wrestled with data, And polished her verbs, She inevitably met and observed Pat and her losing battle ’gainst malignant cells. Then came a sort of reversal of roles. [10] Mine, mundane, was academic support Whilst with the smile from ninety-eight She constantly boosted morale. Then polished and bound The dissertation’s delivered, Examined, and awarded distinction. But my Pat suffered and died. [7]


Yet constantly in the dark, sad days T’was the student who assumed The comforter role with frequent visits, Telephone calls, and even dog-sitting When we scattered Pat’s ashes. She constantly raises my spirits. A true friend, who chose Not to just follow the sun. Her’s is still that smiling face From the class of ninety-eight. [10]

Keith Beavon


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