CHANCE MEETING ON DEGA STREET: A POEM
I met her down in Dega Street, the street where Lawndale plays,
And parties all night long and sleeps it off for thirty days.
"Hey, Daria!" I called, and then she turned her head to see.
She caught my eye, and smiled her gentle smile back at me.
I hadn’t seen her much since she and Jane had called it quits,
And seeing her like this had made me realize it’s the pits.
She acted glad to see me, ‘bout as glad as she could show.
I grinned my grin back at her...and I hoped she didn’t know...
We ducked into a coffee shop and took a booth in back.
We talked and talked for hours, till our ears were out of whack.
The glasses, dress, and jacket were the same she always wore.
She told me things were fine, she wasn’t rich but wasn’t poor.
She told me she was studying at college far from town;
She wouldn’t be in town for long, enough to bring her down.
Her grades were fine, but it was lonely all out on her own.
She worried about life and all the people that she’d known.
She’d come back for a visit with her family and friends;
Like always, it was torture, like a class that never ends.
She’d grown up more than simple time could show or words could tell.
She’d mellowed---when I knew her, it was always "Go to Hell!"
I wondered who her "friends" were, having known her from before,
When the only friend she had was Jane, and others got the door...
I told her of my life, while glossing over all the bumps;
I didn’t want to tell her all the pitfalls and the lumps.
I told her about Jane’s new life, the little that I knew,
That Jane, the last I’d heard from her, was feeling down and blue.
She was in and out of art school, getting started in the city,
And she sold a couple paintings, out of sympathy and pity.
Well, Daria felt sorry, looking sad and very grim.
I told her not to worry, that Jane was "not" out on a limb.
We sat and talked in Dega Street, as hours passed us by;
We caught up with each other over coffee and a pie.
But some things went unsaid, the things that could’ve made us blush.
We didn’t talk about our feelings, or about our crush.
She always kept it to herself and didn’t want to tell.
I never told her that I knew, or what I felt as well.
Eventually our steam ran out, and we both powered down.
The evening was upon us and our mainsprings had unwound.
I asked her to come over for a visit if she could
She said she had to leave, but if she could’ve come, she would.
She was leaving in the morning, back to college and the rough---
She had to get some sleep because the flight was long and tough.
We left the coffee shop and said good-bye outside the door.
She said good-bye and walked away---I knew I wanted more.
Across the street, she turned around, and waved her arm and hand.
I grinned and waved right back and shouted, "Call me if you can!"
And then she disappeared into the crowd and I was all alone.
It was back to normal living and the life I’d lived and blown.
She seemed to understand, she didn’t treat me like I’m dirt.
I knew how much I’d missed her, but I didn’t know it hurt.
I had lost my chance to have her---even though it wasn’t fine.
But my time had come and gone: she had her life---I had mine.
So I resigned myself to misery---she didn’t have to know.
That I loved her from afar, and knowing that, I let her go...
Copyright © 2000, 2001 by Robert Nowall
Written 11/14/00, revised 1/11/01