Poulsbo marina

Jan Haag taught journalism, English and creative writing at Sacramento City College for more than three decades before her 2021 retirement. A former magazine editor, she is the author of Companion Spirit, a collection of poems about her husband’s death published by Amherst Writers & Artists Press. She leads in-person writing groups in Sacramento, as well as virtual ones, in which the topic of grief and loss often arises. Read more of her beautiful writing here.

(for Georgann)

Why today, of all days,
when I drive to a small town
where you used to take me
to stroll and shop, I get
a huge hit of you,
I have no idea.

But there you are,
as present as the sun,
equally bright, as I stand
on a dock amid pleasure boats
nosed into their slips, scanning
the water for the whiskered
face of a local swimmer.

Shading my eyes, I recall
a long-ago summer day when
you and I found ourselves
momentarily moored on that
same landing, watching a
bright-eyed sea lion patrol
the marina, his chocolate head
swiveling to scan us, too,
before diving soundlessly,
disappearing under the
diamond-sparkled surface.

By silent agreement we waited,
as I do today, hoping for a glimpse
of one who might materialize,
just for a moment, to see if those
gentle eyes might find mine
one more time.

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