Monday, March 2, 2009

To A Lost Friend

Where are you, friend?
There's a hole in my heart that you once curled up in.
The unspared laughter,
the tears shared, the dreary distances
when life got too hard.
Still, I miss even those, knowing you would
eventually come back strong.

Where are you, friend?
It's not just longing for tiramisu and talk,
or "chick flicks" and teasing about crying at movies,
or the little gifts, deep wounds aired,
daydreams examined (are they now pursued without me?),
warts and wrinkles overlooked--
but the scuttering worry
that you have abandoned us.

And where am I now?
Temptation dares me to turn away
from years of piled up love, in order to pad
my heart from the possibility of permanent rejection.
I don't want to turn over that stone;
I abhor those scuttering bugs, but then. . .
I risk a little more wax on my heart,
as it turns slightly colder in the wind--
slightly deader,
if I choose to snuff it out.

I know where you're going,
and you know my disaffection, too.
You know I don't want to go there with you--
where dead leaves hiss along a dark road in
an icy wind, like memories of a ghost long eluded.
No, I don't want to go there with you!
I don't want to relive the pain
of a gothic novella almost forgotten.
I love life! I refuse to let go of it now--
warm and green and vibrant,
spicy and herbaceous-- love
that never dies.


Ah! That answers it, then. . .
Light scares away darkness,
showing it up to be just an apparition
of a murky mind digging around in the trash can.
Life takes a torch to death, not the other way around.
As long as my candle burns, you might see
the way out of that backlot alley.
How could I be so heartless,
thinking I could preserve my green leaves
between wax pages and keep them green?
No, I will let love win to my own hurt,
if that's what it comes to.
Treachery is the bread of fools,
and I will not taste a crumb!

Where are you, my friend?
Where are you?
I will bite the tongue of pride,
take my candle, drippy as it has become,
and search for your face.

copyright 2004 by Karen Gladys Henry

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