"Do You Remember"

for M—


not yet 10,

we gave each other

a Russian alias—

Melindakoff,

Suzinsky—

schemed diabolic

assassinations

of our unwitting

siblings.

at 13:

a double crush

on handsome

Mr. Anstaett,

and partners in petty

junior high

crime.

when 17

we mirrored

the halves of a

Missouri dorm room,

matched

grade for grade

a lockstep

locked arms

stride

but by 19

we’d untwinned—

somehow stumbled

on something still

still unknown

or forgotten

these 40 years?

since

last month,

in casual curiosity

I searched the alumni

directory,

the internet,

stumbled on

your obit:

(continued)

died at 59

of early onset…

it says

your favorite

visit was to

Venice—

we shared that too—

and there your ashes

were scattered.


the decades

accordion

I’m only 11

though alone

I’ve reached 63

and all the air

a solemn

stillness

holds

it seems

I missed you

that gondola ride

last July.


About the author

Susan G. Duncan is an independent consultant with a performing and visual arts clientele, capping a long career in arts administration. She served as executive director for San Francisco’s long-running musical comedy phenomenon Beach Blanket Babylon, the al fresco California Shakespeare Theater, and the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Her poetry has appeared in Atlanta ReviewThe MacGuffin, and others.


Susan G. Duncan