Grace Smith House, Connecticut College
New London, Connecticut

In memory of my roommate, Nancy Quin Davis

The year Nancy and I were sophomores
we hauled a sofa up three flights of stairs
to our room filled with Salvation Army
throw-aways. We were satisfied,
until in its broken springs
our cat was continually trapped.
She cried out with the sound
of lost hope, lost virginity,
or something else unseen.
We didn’t know what
was going on when
we heard the commotion,
and burst uninvited into Olga’s room.
She had thrown her potted plants
against the wall, each
and every pot broken,
ruined on the floor. Immobile
on her couch, she watched
as we carried out the shards
of whatever it was
that was bothering her.
She refused to explain.
We returned to our room
and tried, but, mystified,
we never could figure out ourselves
why everything that year
was falling out of grace.

Published in Whistling Girls and Cackling Hens, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2003