To dad (sorry this is so late)

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2013 at 2:29 am

It came to pass that one day

I walked along a not-oft traveled

But not altogether-forgotten

City street.

And as I ambled-

Not carelessly, but decidedly

Without determined purpose-

It began to rain

As I contemplated

How sunny days often turn to rain,

Some errant drop splashed-

Itself quite purposefully-

Upon my face.

Knowing well enough

That in such cases

I had yet another cheek to turn

I carefully planned to ignore

The sudden event.

But the Heavens had planned

For a chance encounter that day

And They would not be denied

By a little thing like

My inconvenience.

And so as They opened up

Their charge upon me,

I turned my gaze around

Searching for anyone

To call a friend.

Fearful to look up too directly

Or else face directly Heaven’s test,

I scanned the quickly darkening path

For signs of a dry place

Offering reprieve.

And so it was that I should meet

That tall, friendly confidant

For whose company I would have traded

My kingdom for just

A moment’s counsel.

I hustled to the spot

Underneath his leafy boughs

That was dry and secure

Where it seemed even Heaven

Held no power.

As I looked out

Upon the wettened world

As if it were some scene removed,

I thought of my new friend

And how we’d come to meet.

This was not some ancient sage,

Nor was this some sapling

Who had come to this young town

Much as I had

Just a few years before.

This was a sturdy kind of some years

Who must have seen his former life

Felled, and all around him constructed

A new world of brick and mortar

And strangers.

As a young one himself

He must have guarded

Field mice and foxes and furry things

Who, like I now did, looked to his strength

To weather the storm.

To be sure, he was still young

When that past world expired,

For he had continued to stretch his legs

Under and through the sidewalk,

Even as his roots were hauled away.

These were the circumstances

Upon my first meeting

With my new friend,

The one to whom I owed so much

In my time of need.

His side of the story

I cannot say for certain

As he remained mute and strong

That day, while I poured out

My sincerest thanks.

And my thanks were sincere!

Just as I appreciated his strength

At such a trying time,

I marveled at how

He let not a drop trouble me.

But true and sadly,

Just as with any friend

Who means so much

In such a short time,

We grew apart.

I would grow up

To be a man that would travel

And see the world from

Every angle and place

And meet many interesting friends.

He, too, continued to grow up

Wordlessly watching

The world around him

Even as the new world

Came to be the old.

Again, I cannot say

What or if he thought of me,

But I can say that I remembered

Though did not often

Think of him.

Until it came to pass one day

That I was again walking through

That now seasoned town,

Passing along streets to which

I had been accustomed.

Lost in thoughts of the Congo

And the castles of England and France

And the many things I’d seen,

I wandered beneath those

Once-familiar arms.

Having not seen my friend

For many years and even then

Not having seen him much at all

I failed to notice him,

And I nearly passed him by.

But, ever the better friend than I,

He well-remembered me

And reminded me so

In the most bittersweet way

I have ever been so reminded.

At the moment I passed under

His once-impenetrable bough

He let fall a single, heavy droplet

Which struck the same cheek

As when we had first met.

In a moment of perturbance,

I almost failed again

To recognize my old friend,

Or worse still,

His simple heartfelt gesture.

As I realized who stood before me

And the import of his salutation,

I could not help but

Amplify his single tear

Of remembrance and friendship.

It is truly such a thing

That friendship is

In the moments of joy

And the moments of trouble

And in the moment of need.

And while it is truly human

To appreciate and forget

It is something altogether divine

To remember and wait

For a friend to return.

For that lesson

I thank my friend today

For his gift of remembering me

Long after

I passed along my way.

  1. What an amazing tribute. It brought tears to my eyes!

    (I recently wrote this last line in an email to Liam about something, and after I sent the message I realized I wrote ‘it brought ears to my eyes’. So much for reviewing before sending.)

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