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.