A chapter of life that has lasted for three years is about to close, and a new one is about to start. This is a poem whose last two lines crashed into my mind tonight . . . and sums up how I feel about this simultaneous end and beginning.
My friend, we are starting the next stage of life.
Our parting is heartfelt; pain cuts like a knife.
Tears fill both our eyes as we say our goodbyes.
As we hug one last time, now look at my heart;
See, it has been broken, it is missing a part.
I know where I placed it, for that was my choice.
So as you step forward, following God’s guiding light,
I beg you, walk carefully, with your hands clasped tight,
For you carry that shard of my heart in your grasp.
This was a poem I wrote in summer 2013, for the friend who saved me from loneliness and isolation, and who has since saved me multiple times from self-hatred, possibly minor depression and, once, suicidal thoughts. I am forever grateful for having been given the privilege to know him.
I still remember how we first met:
The patterns on the carpet.
I was feeling down, my life aground,
And then God put you in it.
I had no hope for close-up friends,
But I knew within a minute:
God put you there to hear my prayer
And my walls were broken down.
It’s hard to keep an open heart
When friends don’t stay within it.
Let separation strike again,
And slam! The doors pull shut.
So there I was, alone and cold,
Without someone to speak to.
But you just smiled and let me sigh
And soon my heart was living.
“Friends are forever,” so the saying goes.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel it.
But now I know we’ll always be friends−-
No matter what comes between us.
This is a poem I wrote back in October 2013 about the nature of a well-developed friendship. Although we often speak of friendship as “having each other’s backs,” in a lot of ways a true friendship involves “having each other’s fronts”: taking and softening the blows that life deals to each of us, and sharing the pain and the joy so that no one has to bear on his or her own the weight of the darkness and the weight of the light.
Remember those days, those days of yore,
Those days of triumph and of trial?
Faced we the enemy; we fell and rose,
Conquering all with a unified mind.
Oh, those days and those years, so full of memories!
We stand upright, now, tho’ covered in scars.
Our weapons they rest in the coveted places,
Memorials grim of the darkness we’ve faced.
But, friend, where’s your shield? I see here your sword,
Your horn, and your arrows–but nowhere your armor.
Look at these scars on my hands and my heart.
It was I who then shielded you, I who protected.
Forget not those bygone days, dangers, and toils,
Lest these my love-rich wounds be all in vain.
Keep to the path, and I will yet support you.
All I ask, my dear friend, is us two together again.