Many years ago, when the earth and I were young, I was reading a magazine and a poem stopped me. It’s a rare moment that you read a poem and can’t take your eyes from it. It was perfect in its mystery and appeal. I tore it out of the magazine and kept it. I was working for an ad agency; I took it to work and typeset it. Framed it. Copied it into my journal. Over the next weeks, I memorized it. The poem was alive to me. I’ve had several poems speak to me that way. But this was so vivid, I remember it all these years later. I hung the poem over my typewriter, but kept the original.
Years passed. I moved. The poem moved with me, and stayed when the framed version broke. I’d forget about it, find it, love it all over again. I would read in on those lonely nights when I wondered if I had learned that lesson about trust yet. Or that lesson about learning to be alone. Between Boston and California, I never found it, but it turned up in New York and stayed in my desk drawer for 14 years.I left it on the bed when I walked out, by way of explanation. Another time, with another man, I put it under his coffee cup to let him know I was more than he thought.
When the internet became a searchable place, I searched for the author. Nothing. There was a movie star by the same name, so it was hard to sort it out. In 2007, I wrote a blog about it, but then moved from Typepad to WordPress, and the blog post didn’t make it. So I wrote another blog post about the poem in October of 2008.
This morning, three years after the original post, and a year and a half after the re-post, after searching on the web and in library card catalogs for 25 years with no results, there was a comment on the post. “Hi Quinn. I’m Jane Greer. . . my poem The Hunter. . . ” After all those years and moves and tears and wondering. There she was. I had to know, so I wrote her. She lives a long way away from me, but our lives have been remarkably the same. We are roughly the same age. We are both writers—non-fiction articles and PR. We both have one son. Oddly enough, they are different people.
There are circles we want to close and can’t. There are circles in our lives that close sooner than we want them to. And then, there is a circle or two that shines through the dark and we notice it, and one day we discover it within our reach and slip it on, and it fits.
–-Quinn McDonald is a writer and a creativity coach. Jane Greer is a poet who wrote The Hunter. Until today, they had never met.
Image: Cover of the March, 2009 release of the bluegrass DC Lost and Found.