Search Results for: Haag

Companion Spirit: Poems by Jan Haag

Companion Spirit is a collection of poems written after the death of Jan Haag’s husband, Cliff Polland (left), in 2001. The poems in the three sections of the book—“Aftermath,” “Leaving Cliff,” and “Rescue”— chart a course through loss, grief and … Continue reading

Purging the subject files

For Dani, who makes it easier to sift and sort They came off garage shelves stiffly like the old creatures they were, sagging cardboard file boxes encumbered with the weight of words on paper, to fwump onto the old concrete … Continue reading

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Love to the swimming body

Once afloat, pulling the water in familiar strokes, you will forget about what it took to get here: the annual oh-my-god-how-round-you’ve-gotten work of donning the suit, stunned at the cleavage you would have died for as a flat-chested teen on … Continue reading

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First haircut after quarantine

(for Susan Stewart) Feels like the first time, as the old song goes. Foreigner’s first album dropped in 1977, me a freshman in college, equal parts curiosity, intimidation and hormones, hiking the university to which I commuted daily—my parents entrusting … Continue reading

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Digression: Teaching at home

For my students at Sacramento City College, who survived the spring 2020 semester Thank God, for the social media post written by some teacher as despairing as I who said, It’s not teaching; it’s damage control. To which I hollered … Continue reading

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Everything I know about being afraid*

For my students of color on the front lines, June 2020 It’s not the fear itself I fear. I’m afraid that I won’t listen well enough to hear your hearts, to have patience as you tell me what is it … Continue reading

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For Dr. Steve Simmons Sept. 14, 1941–June 1, 2020 You have been trying to depart for days, propped up in a strange bed in the living room that no longer looks like home, except for loved ones, both two- and … Continue reading

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Annie’s 11th birthday

Every time I see this kid, she’s taller. All of 4-feet-8, her mother says, as Annie outgrows another wheelchair. On her 11th birthday, Annie is a picture of a healthy, happy kid, with snazzy nails painted in alternating colors of … Continue reading

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This guy would’ve been 68 years old today, and I can’t quite wrap my head around that… nor the fact that he died 19 years ago. I’m still grateful to you, Clifford Ernest Polland, “my photographer,” for following me around … Continue reading

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Graduation 2020

It was my next door neighbor Christine Cross’s idea. She called to me a few days ago from as she was hand watering the proliferation of foliage that is her front yard, “Jan! The Man will host graduation on Friday.” … Continue reading

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