School of Library Science, U.C. Berkeley, 1983-84
by Jennifer Lagier

I packed my car,
drove away from you,
our cat, Galootie, the little house
we called The Early Bracero.
We wore sunglasses to hide
red eyes, flowing tears.

Took typewriter, journals,
a few clothes and photos.
Moved from small town
Central Valley to a bohemian
Berkeley basement apartment.

Left behind affection and laughter,
a perpetual gathering
of friends, writers, musicians
crowded around
our red kitchen table.

Surrounded myself with
fellow graduate students.
Wrote reams of poetry
between school assignments.
Ached during a loveless year
of scholarly exile.

PHOTOS: The author in her Berkeley apartment, August 1983.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I moved from Turlock to Berkeley, California, in August 1983 to attend library school at U.C. Berkeley. My partner stayed in Turlock to complete his M.A. in English at California State University, Stanislaus. Our separation was wrenching. It was my first time living on my own in a large city.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 10 books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Visit her at