A Surprise Encounter


I don’t know by what happy omen
A creature from the past came by,
Her eyes despite her years so bright,
Her speech so brimful with delight,
That I was charmed to think that I
Had once been friend to such a woman.

For us there was no might-have-been,
No hopes, no dreams, that might come true.
I never loved her, nor she me,
And yet how fine a reprise could be
We learned that moment as we drew,
Though all but strangers, close again.

William F. Bell is a retired editor and columnist who has worked on newspapers in Michigan and Massachusetts and now lives in Lenox, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in Poetry, America, Crisis, and The Formalist, and in the anthology 150 Contemporary Sonnets.

First published in Measure, Volume 2 (2007)