I have to admit: I’m more drawn to writing fiction. I like making up names of people and places, imagining a character’s history and personality, and doing all the creative things that go with coming up with a story.
“Until We Meet Again” is a unique poem because it’s based on fictional characters and places. I didn’t expect it to end up that way, but that’s what came out.
So, there is no Mr.Kurtberry or farm on Kurtberry Plain. In fact, I’m not entirely sure whether there’s actually any farm out there that harvests both cranberry and grain. Yet, even though the characters and setting might be fictional, the situation isn’t.
If you’ve ever grieved someone you love and care about, you are Mr. Kurtberry.
Growing up in a house with a cemetery nearby and noticing one too many funeral processions probably made me reflect on loss more times than I should have. Perhaps it was through a culmination of those reflections that the character and story of Mr. Kurtberry came to life.
The message in “Until We Meet Again” is right there in the title. It’s about holding on to the belief that we will meet our loved ones again someday. But until then, they will always be with us through our memories as well as through who we are–through the person they’ve helped us become.
Until We Meet Again
There’s an old beaten road on Kurtberry Street.
It’s the road where their lives meet.
The asphalt is battered and incomplete,
With many cracks even along the sidewalk’s concrete.
There’s an old worn-down farm on Kurtberry Plain.
It’s the farm where harvested were cranberry and grain.
On the farm house’s rusted rooftop, the falling rain,
Pits and patters to entertain.
There’s an old toppled man on Kurtberry Hill.
While the rain pours and thunders he stands still.
He surveys the road, the farmhouse, and the mill,
Only wishing she hadn’t taken ill.
Upon an old grave, he shifts his graze.
On Kurtberry Hill it stands, to catch the sun’s full rays.
Under his breath, he utters a silent phrase.
“I will be with you always,” he says, “til the end of my days.”
By E. Ballay
Written February 1, 2014