(Inspired by old and new friends…and maturity? Eff that…)
As the tropics flare up,
So too do the cosmos,
My life has been a rolling thunder
Of cosmic collisions
Over the last two weeks.
First, as I broke ranks and did some volunteering,
I asked a young man if he knew
A teacher friend of mine who worked in his school.
It was a long and sort of lost friend
Who I rarely see anymore,
But when I do, it’s right back to the old days.
Twenty minutes after finishing with my shift
I ran into my friend in a grocery store,
A place of nourishment,
The place where nutrients are gotten
To feed a body and in this case, since I was hunting for oatmeal,
To feed my soul, as overnight oats have become
A life-changing food for me.
We spent almost no time reminiscing,
Mostly we talked about getting older,
The difficulty of CrossFit, yoga, and running.
I walked away from our chance meeting
Smiling all over
Because my friend is such a good soul.
I’d never burn our friendship
In her “No Regrets” can.
Fast forward to yesterday,
I’m deep-diving into my work Google Drive
And cleaning out the clutter,
The digital delirium that I have no use for.
There were files with photos,
Pictures of a past job,
The Rising Juniors Program
That consumed nearly a decade of my time,
Brining me an eternity of learning.
I thought long and hard about those photos,
Wanting to cast away pictures that only interfere with my present,
But are so important to my past.
The three seconds I waited
With my finger hovering above the delete button
Felt as long as the ten years it has been since my teacher friend and I
Worked there last.
In the end, I kept the photos, even though, copies are all over
My cyber landscape.
Later that night, I happened upon a blog comment on a poem I wrote,
Having just finished a dinner of PBJs,
School is wearing my ass out,
I was not prepared for the gut punch I was about to receive.
You see, there are some people who are the only ones to
Know certain things about us,
They are the ones who we get very close to and when they are gone,
It leaves a spot of regret, the kind of feelings that should be burned
In my friend’s metaphorical smokey motivational activity.
Still hungry after reading the comment,
I headed upstairs, opened the fridge, and
Took out some Swiss, Provolone, and shredded Cheddar.
With a couple of pieces of bread,
I had my very own three-cheese sandwich.
It didn’t taste as good as the last one I had,
Some twelve or so years ago
After visiting an animal rescue farm
Which, coincidently, I tried to find last Saturday
As I rode my bike on the back roads of Chester County,
But man, the memories were rich.
The heat of the dorms, the constant struggles, the fun of word games.
I hoped that the comment was from who I thought it was
For Facebook, word of mouth, and simple gut intuition
Had failed me at locating my old friend,
One I owe an apology
And one I have sincerely missed staying in touch with.
So I went to bed,
Woke at four,
Fought the ache out of my legs,
And shook the doubt from my mind
To meet my latest bunch of friends for a run.
We trudged up the hill just a block from the optimistic tree
And the recently shuttered Sunrise Cafe
Only to stop for traffic under the giant clock in town and hear,
My old teacher friend drove by,
Everyone was wondering why a woman would call my last name,
So I explained, but it was strange to me that the RJP was colliding this way
It was as if in this summer of renewal
Where peace has finally taken over my psyche
That the cosmos was taking the slack out of the rope,
“Yes, up rope,” I thought. Safe, secure, and supported for a challenge.
We ran through the night,
Coming out of the woods into the first rays of light.
We saw a few people, but we could only ask, “Where’s Pete?”
My guess was with his sandaled feet up on a table somewhere
Stuffing his skinny ass with any food he could find.
It felt good to be running with my new mates,
Living in the memories of my old mates, and
Realizing that there are many ways through life,
Through Kennett Square,
Through our relationships, and they are all important,
So it’s up to us
Not to eff them up.
I’m a fan of this phenomena,
The cosmic collisions, that is.
They refresh me, restore, reactivate waning energy.
I know more is coming,
Big boob housekeepers wielding knives in the kitchen,
Similarly shaped inflatable dolls,
Spiritual reckonings in trendy coffee shops,
Foot shuffling and farting, perhaps these are a
Trade-off for the overnight oats and three-cheese sandwiches.
It’s hard to explain,
I want this vibe to continue.
Just gotta stay out of the way and survive people.