Sunday, February 17, 2013


SABBATICAL - a memory

Predawn gray creeps in the empty room.
Book shelves lie bare, waiting for renters' books;
gone are the family photographs, mementos,
locked away in the crowded basement room.
Our personalities obliterated,
familiar windows, corners grow strange.
Suitcase forms emerge in growing light

next to the travelling clothes hung on a chair.
Even the mattress lacks its sheets and spread;
we sleep like displaced persons, refugees,
ready to roll our sleeping bags and go.
 Only a scent remains (our aura?) to hint
that we use garlic, lavender and wax.

And am I sad to leave?  No, I am ready,
my mind outdistancing the throbbing plane,
my skin anticipating balmy air,
my nose - dark coffee, pungent herbs, ripe fruits.

Last night I dreamed in Portuguese. 

My husband, Dr. Otto. J. M. Smith was professor at 
U. C. Berkeley, and our sabbatical leaves took us to
many countries, but Brazil was one that we returned to
again and again, and whose language I had studied
and knew well.  


Josie Two Shoes said...

What wonderful memories you must have of all that you experienced together with your beloved Otto! There is always that bit of sadness when leaving what is familiar, what is "home" to us, but then there is that human attraction to experience what is new and different. You wrote of it so beautifully here!

gsb said...

The memories mean everything but the way you wrote this one left me breathless...your phrases...the way you put it all together and in such a short space of words...your are truely a beautiful person and a beautiful writer.

Maggie May said...

What a skilled and beautiful writer you are and your memories will continue to be cherished by anyone who reads your work.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

oldegg said...

Even the discomforts experienced in traveling are treasured memories afterwards...even better when you can laugh about them at the time!

keith hillman said...

They say that home is where the heart is, and my heart is always one step ahead of me in the faraway place I'll next be visiting!

Rambly T said...

How extraordinary and eloquent you are lovely lady. It is a pleasure indeed to read you.

Mad Kane said...

So evocative and well done.
Madeleine Begun Kane