What were the odds?

I look at the overhead projector;
A list of names each in their own sector.
There is one that’s strangely familiar
and it sounds eerily similar,

To a name I had forgotten long ago
The name of a girl I once did know.
I slowly turn my head around
As I look back my eyes uncloud

They come to rest on a face
and it was at a very fast pace
that it became much more familiar
and started to look eerily similar,

To the face of a girl I once did know
and was my friend six years ago.
She answers a question with her voice,
and I finally remember! Inside I rejoice.

How on earth could I forget?
That amazing girl, “Karla Burnett”
She’s been at Hornsby since year seven
And I only found out in grade eleven!

I travel home in amazement and wonder
This was too much of a happy blunder
Doubt… is it too good to be true?
Uncertainty… is it really you?

Because what are the odds
that these XORs and MODs,
could bring me at last
to this ghost from my past?

Of course something had to go wrong
I had known her for surprisingly long
But MY face was not recognised
a memory evading her magical eyes

She did not remember me!
A Six years corrupted memory.
For three weeks I lay low
How on earth to let her know?

At last I could stand it no more
I drop all I know to the floor.
I don’t know if it has any effect
Until I have a ticket to collect

I fail to communicate exactly what I need
To the ticket-teller taking the money I feed
But someone stalks up from behind
Someone who has the words I can’t find

With a grin
Karla conveys the correct choice
I smile within
“Thank you… for being my voice”

We all sit comfortably, talking on the train
Repression of a question at back of my brain
Somehow the discussion turns to the past
I meet her eyes and know it’s time at last;

Time slowed down as I finally let it free
“I remember you, do you remember me?”

Alex Herlihy – 2009


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