We Who Were Beautiful

by Arthur Mampel

Now live in the haunt of memory
Of a day when life was light
And the nights were warmly animated
Those days, those nights,

Those unexpected moments,
A chance meeting behind the gym
Or crossing River Park by moonlight,
And those rides in the ‘37 Pontiac

After grueling blue-book finals
Marked in red reproaches,
Or that evening after choir
Walking back to the student café,

With a song she sang,
That elevated the step
Like Gene Kelly in the rain.
All around us the stars

Beamed on clear faces
Unlined by the wear of trouble
Oh we were beautiful then,
Beyond any thought of death,

Or any rite of passage.
Once in our years we were young,
The day was forgiving,
The night held no terror,

And even now the hold
Of that brief glory in time,
Brings solace through memory
When beauty and truth entwined.

Arthur Mampel is a poet who lives in Seattle, Washington.

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