Poetry Through Pictures: On the Path to the College Pond

3 min read

Jules Bourbeau ’25

A&E Editor

OCTOBER 22, 2019
OCTOBER 22, 2019

I. I was thrust into the world far too early

& I still live inside that rift in time.

I desperately tried to catch up:

to make time slow down for me,

though it rattled over me relentlessly

in the convenience stores and lobbies

and forests.

So I got ahead where I could –

sometimes I fell behind.

 I only wanted to be better.

OCTOBER 24, 2019

II. Two days after my birthday,

you went into the hospital.

They told us your arteries were blocked

ninety-nine percent

& I knew you may die.

Propped up in a drugstore

on the way home from the hospital,

blinding blue cleaning fluids,

concrete backroom bathroom.

OCTOBER 25, 2019

III. I left when you seized up and asked for help.

I’m sorry. I ran behind the hospital into

the woods, crying because

I abandoned you,

I may lose you,

I was five years old again

with my own sickness,

stranded in an endless maze of

hospitals.

NOVEMBER 22, 2019

IV. I climbed over the cemetery wall

onto the path to College Pond.

Heavy plum quilt of clouds,

dry grass & droning wind hum.

Stormy indifference as I raise my hands

to the sky & feel that I might fall over.

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

V. I watch the sunset from the bench,

clumsy turning pages through thick gloves.

Perfect mirror still water reflects as

a chorus explodes from above:

Geese with fiery red sun bellies

leave me behind for the winter. 

JANUARY 1, 2020

VI. I try to watch the sunrise

to find a reason to stay alive but

I fail.

The forest too dark,

the path too frozen,

my legs too sore.

I consider falling asleep,

freezing to death

or using my pocket-knife

to cut my wrist.

But a small instinct tells me that

I’ll never be found here,

not for a long time.

So I crawl out of the woods

on my hands & feet.

By the time I reach my street,

the sun begins to rise.

MARCH 12, 2020

VII. A sense of crashing doom draws me

back to the pond. The sun

ascends to greet the moon &

I notice otter tracks

on the boardwalk. I feel

as if I’m closing a long book.

With an apocalyptic calm,

I accept the news.

MARCH 22, 2020

VIII. The waters constantly shift

new contents ashore. Framing

a swimming goose with driftwood,

shallow detritus dense pools.

Could my own body lie beneath?

A small island pushes off from the shore

& sets afloat for the opposite side.

APRIL 29, 2020

IX. Painted turtle and bark stripped branch

look the same underwater.

Cracked open, showing gold beneath – 

kintsugi. The sun warms my back

face-down on the boardwalk

& the water is bluer

than I’ve ever seen.

MAY 29, 2020

X. The forest erupts with green as

algae dots the pond’s surface.

Flowers burst between the boards,

far off weeping willow mists.

I vow to do better, dance to the wind.

I won’t be here again for many months,

but as the sun comes out, it seems to me,

the entire world has begun to bloom.

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