Ronald Moran, New Britain, 1952

Ronald Moran

I am reading a novel set in England toward
the end
of the 19th century, where a woman of station
to a much younger woman of no station
Forgive me
for saying so, but no woman of my class would

a man of her family to marry quite so far below
and I think of a time 50 years ago when I once
took out
a girl below my middle, middle-class family
was lovely and as nice as she was lovely, too.

mother thought she was unacceptable, and
at 16
I knew why, but that meant very little to me,
I liked her––Polish background and long name,
her living in a three family walk-up off Broad––
but I knew

my mother, a Hungarian in disguise as a WASP
her married name, would soon stare at me as
she did
too often at my father, with that No, No look,
nothing, but we knew exactly what she meant

in New Britain, Connecticut, early 1950s, so
I never
asked this lovely girl out again, but, O, what
I missed;
how I wish I could say to her now, I am sorry
Sweet girl
with the bright eyes, white blouse, whose life
I lost.

Bio: RONALD MORAN retired from Clemson University where he served as professor/dean. He was educated at Colby College and Louisiana State University. Moran’s poems have been published in Commonweal, Connecticut Poetry Review, Emrys Journal, Louisiana Review, North American Review, Northwest Review, The Orange Room Review, South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, and in eleven books/chapbooks of poetry. His poetry has received a number of awards.


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