Will you meet me at the Tap Room?

It’s been five decades since we parted there

A quiet end to a glorious spring

As You Like It at McCarter, picnics on the canal

Classmates in neckties, their dates in pastels

Laughing at the notion of female Ivy Leaguers

Robert Kennedy was nearly president, I was nearly king

The newest car. Best grades. Prettiest girlfriend.

Wall Street called me, the Peace Corps called you

Maybe if we’d had email . . . . maybe not

You taught in Manila and Zaire

I made money in New York and London

Why move back to my college town?

Less space, more peace

Time to paint. Read to shut-ins. Sip dark roast outdoors

Facebook says you’re nearby, retired and single

No going back when it’s changed more than we have

Lahiere’s closed. The hospital moved. Parking got worse.

Remember the new library? There’s a newer library on that spot

The students wear bowties, the Nassau sells chocolates

I’m once divorced, once widowed

And know where I belong

At last a Democrat (Yes, I owe you $10)

Finally asking for what I want most

Let’s inhale Prospect Gardens

Walk laps around Richardson

Harmonize in the archways

No going back. But we can go forward. Even now

Rebooting, my grandkids call it

So meet me at the Tap Room

Remember when we were new? There could be a newer us on that spot

Maybe just for an evening. . . . maybe not

Loretta Bolger Wish is a writer and editor whose work includes newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, songs, poems, essays, and reference books. She has written and performed short plays and monologues, writes the film blog Hollywood Castaway, and co-moderates the Princeton Library Writers Room. Wish and her husband, Fred, her band mate and frequent writing partner, live at the Jersey shore.

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