From The Corners of Your Mind

A tribute to the Macalester College Class of 1972

Let me paint you a picture—
a misty watercolor—
of a memory to frame
in the corners of your minds.[1]

Whether or not you ended up
going to San Francisco,
here’s a flower for your hair
and for the corners of your minds.[2]

Here is a little green apple
for the summer rains of Indianapolis,
for the winter snows in Minneapolis,
and for the corners of your minds.[3]

Here is a buttercup to build you up
that won’t break your heart
while you wait by the phone
in the corners of your minds.[4]

Here is a suddenly-appearing bird
for the dreams come true
that stay close to you
in the corners of your minds.[5]

Here is some time to trace
a consultation about world immunity—
to turn and to face the strange change
in the corners of your minds.[6]

Here is the sunshine, the blue skies, the rainbow
that you prayed for. No more dark clouds.
You’re seeing everything more clearly now
in the corners of your minds.[7]

Here is some more learning for the people
some more warning from the soldiers
some more turning from the world
from the corners of your minds.[8]

Copyright © 2021 by Penny J. Johnson. Used with permission.

[1] “The Way We Were” sung by Barbara Streisand (1974)
[2] “Are You Going to San Francisco” sung by Scott McKenzie (1967)
[3] “Little Green Apples” sung by O. C. Smith (1968)
[4] “Build Me Up, Buttercup” sung by The Foundations (1969)
[5] “Close to You” sung by Karen Carpenter (1970
[6] “Changes” sung by David Bowie (1971)
[7] “I Can See Clearly Now” sung by Johnny Nash (1972)
[8] “Higher Ground” sung by Stevie Wonder (1973)


A Response by Linda Kennedy

Well, “Ain’t That Peculiar?” I was thinking we needed a poem to “Get Ready” for a Macalester “Family Reunion.” So “Let’s Get Together (yay, yay, yay), “Leader of the Pack.” I won’t “See you in September” because it will be June when we’ll be “Dancing In the Streets” “In the Midnight Hour.” It will seem “Just A Little” like “Yesterday.”  We will greet each other “Tenderly” and say “Hello Stranger.” And when we see those from ’70 and ’71 we’ll say,  “Ooh Baby, Baby” “It’s My Party.” It will be a “Celebration,” a “Special Occasion.” “I’ll be Glad All Over.” Won’t you “Second that Emotion?”