Monday, November 27, 2006

Friendship

Dedicated to my efforts to be real:

Friendship

I’d like to be funny tonight.
I’d like to sit in my favorite chair,
Across from you, grinning
And tell you stories
That start with glee and end with awesome.

I’d like to lean over and
Touch your knee
So you know I am present
As surely as I sit before you.

I’d like to know how you feel
On vacation and at work
And on Sunday mornings
When you read the New York Times.

I’d like to watch your mind
Dance down the street of curiosity
And stop at the curb
Where that lucky penny finds you.

I’ll listen to your stories
Into the night,
Even of the time you eloped
Only to find your mistake
Under the Las Vegas sheets

My eyes will follow you
Into the doorways and along the pathways
And I will nod with empathy
And the commonality of approval.

I can do all these things
As sincerely as I breathe
Because I was given this gift
Long long ago.

I’d like you to know
I keep secrets and honor wishes,
Even the dark ones,
And even when I’m bribed.

So when you slip on your coat
to take your leave
I’d like to think
We both heard you well.

But because there are two of us,
Listening only goes so far.
I too must reveal
my footprints in the squeaky sand.

Tell you who I am? That is harder.
I can tell you why.
Maybe.
It starts with a fact that startles me still:

I can tell you everything
But I will not know
if you see me strong and clear
Or dazed and fragile.

I’ve been apologizing for both and either
Most of my life
And that is a confused place
Not found on any map.

Here’s how it goes:
If you tell me I am strong and confident
I will tell you back--
No, please know I am sensitive,
I cry and fold in two
When I have no back door


And if you tell me I am sensitive
I will be speechless,
Apologizing for a weak defense
And readying to watch you walk away.

It’s not that I don’t know myself:
I cry over love
And when dogs whimper,
And nobody would say I was unkind.

I take to the streets
When integrity’s at stake
And I hide under the bed
When I bite my lower lip
In anticipation of a harsh word or deed.

I am confident and sensitive.
Strong and insecure.
Wise and weak.
Tall and small.

That’s what it is.
That’s all it is.
I cannot tell you why this fact
Decks me until I finally

Relax for the count
Or rise for the occasion.

15 comments:

  1. I am sorry I am not as eloquent as you are and I feel that my comment is not good enough, but I want to be your friend and you, mine.

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  2. ces, you can take our friendship to the bank forever more. and you are plenty eloquent!

    :)

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  3. If you could hear me make my deep, guttural sound of just "hmmmmmm...." with a smile, you would understand.

    These are truly beautiful words, strung feelingly together with passion and life, especially these:

    I am confident and sensitive.
    Strong and insecure.
    Wise and weak.
    Tall and small

    Hmmmm.....

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  4. ww, i tease you, but i want to tell you i admire and appreciate you. your sensitivity is as compelling as the gap in your teeth.

    :)

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  5. It takes me at least 4 readings on different occasions to appreciate the intensity of your words. I may be slow or during the first three readings, I am just in a hurry. Your friends must be very lucky if this poem summarizes how you feel. There is so much loyalty, of caring and honoring. Maybe your friends think you are stronger than them because you always manage to say the right words, give the right advice and endlessly offer yourself to be there. I still remember the article you wrote about Joey. You are so giving and caring. However, I think your real friends know you need pampering, loving and caring too and are just too happy to do that for you!

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  6. this poem holds all of you...yet only the beginning. i think your efforts to be real were successful.

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  7. Wow. I'm speechless. This poem speaks in so many levels.
    It is beautiful!

    Your friends are truly lucky!

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  8. what a tender, heartfelt poem. and like Leo I'm speechless and I'm in awe.

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  9. ces, gulp. it is i who is lucky to have you as a friend. bigtime. thank you for knowing me.

    jessie, yes, only the beginning. thank you as always

    leo and maria: thank you both. your comments give me the courage to write.

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  10. Like Ces, your talent is just astounding. I feel so lucky to know the two of you, even just through your blogs.

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  11. kj...although I have not been vocal on your comments, I've always been here - I watch you branch out and connect and it makes me smile. Your happiness makes me happy:)

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  12. KJ one of these days I will write what I think of you. Am I allowed to do that?

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  13. menchie, (blush) thank you. i'm enjoying you too

    joy, please accept my sincere thank you. i follow you also

    ces, are you kidding? something about me by a talented incredible writer and painter and person? i would be honored, unless, of course, you announce my many imperfections and shortcomings..

    to everyone: wow. what a virtual bearhug of comments. except they don't feel virtual. thank you all for your kindness and support to me. i'm deeply appreciative.

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  14. Wow ... this is one of those poems that I read along and love and am just about to savor one line completely when an equally wonderful or even better line comes along ... fantastic, my friend! xo

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