Friendship and Poetry

To the few folks who actually read this blog: Did you know I have (had?) another blog, on Google?  True story: about 5 years ago, I was ranting on a different site.  Those posts were done off the cuff, as spontaneously as possible; spontaneity is in short supply these days, I fear.  But on the upside, on Wordpress it seems like I’ve been able to pull my thoughts together better than I used to.  (There are still a few good ideas still dangling out in my former blogosphere; I may yet dredge them up and complete them here.  Don’t judge me; it could happen.)

Today is my younger daughter’s 16th birthday, the fact of which blows my mind.  Seems like just yesterday she was a tiny little scrap of a thing (the only one in our family who needed to wear preemie clothes) in my arms, wailing and puking…yadda yadda yadda, am I right?  She’s so lovely and hilariously funny now, with all the teenaged nonsense that accompanies that age.  Sometimes I wonder how she turned out so well.  It certainly had little to do with me.

But this blog isn’t about her.  It has to do with something I published on this day, on that other site, five years ago (another mind-blowing fact.  It’s amazing there are any brain cells left).  It’s a poem that I wrote and dedicated to two of my dearest friends.

You know, or maybe you don’t, that friends are a precious commodity. They become even more precious the older I get, as family members fall into ill health or pass away; as marriages start and end; as children are born or go off on their own as best they can.  They also get more difficult to find as we move away from where we grew up, and of course, aren’t in school anymore, with loads of people one’s own age milling around.

Lucky for me, the Internet has brought me at least two wonderful grown-up friends, who are honored in the verse below.  I re-read it yesterday, and I could still bear to read it, so I’m going to say it holds up.  Enjoy.

Wild (for the friends I wish I’d had long ago)

In a different lifetime

I would’ve been your best friend

Running through summer fields

Ponytailed and mosquitobitten

Shrieking, avoiding the bees

Rolling on grass

Gathering all the flowers we could hold

Under tents of bedsheets

Sharing secrets of the day, the minute, my life, your life

Watching your blonde hair and my dark

Flow wild as we run.

 

In less than half a decade

I would’ve been your best friend

But we would’ve lied and told everyone we were sisters

And that your blue eyes and my brown

Were perfectly normal in our family

Giggling, crazy, wild nights in Asbury and beyond

Sneaking what we could

Blue eyeshadow worn with our Levi’s

(not that you needed it)

Getting in trouble, oh yeah

Never telling anyone

Secrets of my life, your life, the minute, the day

Anything at all

Wild as we run.

 

And when I see you now

Whenever that is

We get to pick up where we might’ve left off

When time and school and families

Pull us apart, unwilling, never really letting go

Each one always keeping one end of the thread

Be it shoelaces, phone cords, guitar strings

Never really letting go

Always wanting more but never getting

Time slips on

But the echo of your laugh, your voice

The memory of your face, your eyes

Keeps me holding on

Sustains me when I can’t,

Just can’t, and nobody else knows or understands.

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