African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Jessie Fauset, "Episode" (1928)

The memory of you is slight in my mind,
But poignant.
Like a sole, unrepeated experience,
Like the wheeling flight of a gull,
Like smoke hanging high in the blue
In vaporish traceries,—
Without sound, but significant
As a thunder-preceding lull.

Once I remember glimpsing
A column of sand-pipers
Marching meticulously
Over the sedge-strewn floor of the beach;
Slight and graceful, unswerving
As war-going fifers;
Persistent, purposeful, sure,—
And just beyond reach!

Easily, far too easily
That picture fades from my senses;
Yet if once I recall it
There springs to my mind perfection;
Perfection of sky and sun
And ocean and weather
Promised fulfilment, of yearning,
Assurance of heaven's protection.

So you. The memory of you
Is slight but poignant;
Yet once you enter my mind
For the moment you sever
All my connection with paltriness,
Actions ignoble;
Leaving me peace and completeness.—
Remain with me ever!

Published in Carolina Magazine, May 1928

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