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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Up the Hill

 

 

You walk fast,

she said, and

I said, I was walking

fast to keep up

with you, and

she said, I was

walking fast to

keep up with you

and we laughed

at ourselves as

our feet found

a new rhythm,

our hearts, too.

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Reconciliation

 

 

We are all walking each other home.

—Ram Dass

 

 

There was that moment before

I read the letter, when you

were still invincible, that moment

when just seeing your name

made me think of sitting at your table

drinking wine, eating fresh tomato soup,

and my heart rose up like a good little dog

and begged me to read the news.

And then there was the moment

when I read the news. And read it again.

And let my eyes unfocus on the words

as I felt their terrible weight

settle in my chest, on my cheeks.

How soon the mind leans toward the worst.

It is hard to reconcile the two moments

together, side by side as they were,

the one so exuberant, the other

so grim. I try to imagine them

holding hands as if to steady the other.

As if they need somehow to be close,

fear and hope. If you feel a hand

slip into yours and no one is there,

perhaps it is mine, reaching

toward you through a letter

I will always be writing, the letter

of how beautiful it is to be alive

in this world so we can

shoulder together what frightens us most.

How beautiful it is to be alive

so that even in our most lumbered days

we might meet each other, hands open,

and steady the other, walking home.

 

 

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singing beside the falls

the sound of the water

drowns out our voices

but that isn’t any reason

to stop singing

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for Jim Tipton

 

 

Margaret tells me

that while in a morphine stupor,

our friend told her I am dead.

I take the news of my death

rather well, I think,

remembering that just this morning

I ate blackberries

and pulled on my shoes

and drove a winding road.

But my friend, he is close

to death, his hand so tired

he signed only half his last name

in his book Margaret sends to me.

Reading it, he is in the room,

his voice still baritone and booming,

speaking of high desert honey and mesas

and cinnamon. I meet him there,

startled by how close he feels,

and when the book is over,

how enormous the emptiness.

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with a line from “Snow” by Anna Akhmatova

 

 

The spruce boughs are empty

of snow as we ski up the old

railroad grade. And when we arrive

at the top, the sky opens up,

an enchantment of blue.

I want to ask her how it felt

to be caged, to be clipped,

to be silenced. But she looks

at me as if to say the mood

is too tender for talk. And so

we let the words disappear

like the snow that is not falling,

and we move together

as good friends do, letting

one lead, and then the other.

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wanting to be your lifeboat

when what you really need

is someone to let you swim

 

 

 

 

and if you live nearby, you may want to consider this public speaking class I will be teaching for the next six Thursdays through Ah Haa … http://www.ahhaa.org/calendarize/public-speaking-rosemerry-wahtola-trommer/

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One True Friend

 

for Michelle

 

 

dipping her spoon

into all the light of the day—

offering me the first bite

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I’m sorry, I say, that you have to go through this,

though even as the words wing out like ravens or robins,

I think of the way every hardship I’ve met

has unburdened itself into blessing. Not right away,

of course, and not before I’ve suffered alone

in the light. Eventually, even the worst forest fire

is eventually just a burning bush. Eventually, a crumb

becomes a meal becomes a feast. But no one suffering

wants to hear how suffering is good for you,

how the struggle makes you stronger. And so

I say, I’m sorry. And I mean it. The fear, the ache

make a ruthless nest. Nothing to do but love each other,

even as our own hearts are breaking. That breaking,

somehow, links us ever closer to each other,

as if it contains some secret for living. Love itself

holding the knife, love itself holding the salve.

 

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for Susan

 

 

Walking the world of dry leaves

and rickety bridges,

there as in old letters,

we marvel at the things

we once knew that we have

just recently discovered—

How new it all is again.

How we orbit the same sun

every day and still

can be astonished

by the way things

shine.

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for Barbara Ford

 

 

We sit on the couch in the low lamplight

and talk for hours about the heart,

its longing to know and be known.

I watch your hands as you speak, how

your long fingers dance. And sometimes,

my eyes catch on a moth amusing itself

at the edge of the room, content in shadow.

We are both well aware that pain

can also be a blessing, that just because

something is not going right doesn’t mean

it is wrong. There are problems

we will never solve, but tonight, it is not

about the solving of things, it’s about the feeling

of them, the willingness to lean over the edge

of the well-lit world, the thrill of fluttering

in the darkness together.

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