Michael Gollin
November 2017

There is a complex snag down in the woods,
a dead tree, with seven limbs,
but I can only see it in winter with the leaves down.

Two winters ago,
I thought it was going to fall
before Max’s college graduation.
But it did not.

Last winter,
I thought it was going to fall
before Natasha’s grad school graduation.
But it did not.

I think it will last
until Julia’s college graduation next winter.
It will outlast me.



Michael Gollin
May 2013
For Natasha

“DAD!” called the college girl voice —
I turned but she was not my daughter —
1266 caps and gowns,
tassels blue and brown,
shoes, sandals (no bare feet yet),
long brown and golden hair, and short,
rows of smiling faces glistening with relief
and pride and joy.
Do I catch a glimpse of fear,
trepidation — loss?
Their college years recede
as this timeless weekend
pageant of completion
poetically referred to universally
as university commencement