My friend Yvonne Robery just gave me this gift of a poem. I asked her if I could share it here, and she said yes.
Thank you, Yvonne, for writing so beautifully about friendship. Thank you for keeping faith with me, through all the years.
What did our voices sound like
at the point of recognition? Our names
we said to each other in delight
through the history, the recent past, the claims
made throughout the years,
the knowledge of each others’ fears.
At the point of recognition, our names
defined the time from college when
we first met, many of our friends the same,
to the moment we hugged right then,
I knew your father had just died,
saw the raw loss still in your eyes.
We said to each other in delight
we must get together, maybe next week,
we would love to see you one night,
my husband, my kids. I kissed your cheek
and your arms stayed around me
with many unspoken emotions set free.
Through the history, the recent past, we claim
our friendship again and again
for future events sure to happen
and to surprise us again as we fend
our ways through the space and time
writing living looking for the sublime
made throughout the years
with our voices on the page
all the words written down or in our ears
you tell the stories and I continue to rage
with poetry, all the right words
all the tries at translating what seems absurd.
The knowledge of each others’ fears
made us feel less alone, driven
as we are to order even private tears
for all, to connect the many givens
of risk love laughter loss life —
what did our voices sound like?