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Dear former BFF,

I’m thankful for the years of friendship we had, even though it seems now that our friendship was only ever meant to be a temporary thing, and not a lifelong thing as my mom had been told in a dream so many years ago.  I still remember how, although you didn’t know me, you cheerfully invited me to your sixth birthday party, while we stood on the steps outside our school. I attended and we were all entertained by Sparkles the clown. My hippie parents were undoubtedly thrilled that I had befriended one of the only brown kids in school.

It’s easy for little children to make friends, isn’t it? We were so open then, not like we are now. I still remember the sleepovers, the Michael Jackson dance contests, the endless rounds of Monopoly. How we started a band in third grade and we really thought we might become famous, though none of us played an instrument. Then in fifth grade, I remember how I was going to a different middle school and you told me that you wanted to make sure we stayed friends.

In high school we were reunited. We got our first jobs together, conducting marketing surveys over the phone. Remember the weirdos who went through training with us? There was the guy who dropped a condom on the floor, looking at us while he slowly picked it up. And there was that other guy who called his mom to come pick him up next to the jail, “where he’d gotten bailed out that one time.” We only worked there for about a week.

I remember the New Year’s Eve trip to San Francisco with our other best friends, and the time our theater group shared a poster with Slick Rick. And in college, there was the time you stole a kazoo from my ex-boyfriend’s bathroom, and the time our drunk friend got locked in a dorm stairwell overnight. Most of all, I remember the laughter – no one could ever make me laugh like you could.

I’m sorry for the ways in which I failed you as a friend. I can think of a few, and you can probably think of more. Still, I don’t understand why you stopped returning my calls. As an only child, I’m one who hangs on to friendships, who doesn’t want to let them go, and so I’m almost always the last one to call. But it hurt the most when it was you. You were the best of friends, until suddenly you weren’t.

Nine years later, you’ve moved on, and so have I. I have other best friends – my husband, my daughter, my mom. I have lots of good friends from my new, adult life. I wish we could be friends again like we used to be, but time has changed us, and we can’t ever go back to that place where we stood, two first graders on the steps outside our elementary school, fulfilling MLK’s dream without even knowing.

Me with my new best friend.

Me and my new best friend.

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sleeping beauty

you sleep so sweetly
in the warm afternoon sun
what do you dream of?

 

NaPoWriMo Day 22! I guess I’m in haiku mode. I wrote this and then realized it was a haiku afterwards. Now I’m afraid I must wake the sleeping beauty or she will not want to go to bed at the appropriate bedtime.

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The Journey

though the mermaids’ song is sweet and enchanting,
we must not follow, our hands must be bound tight
to the ship, and the rope burns round our wrists

and there may come a time when we must visit
the dark underworld to find wisdom
we must cross the river Styx,
but we must not stay

we must blind the fearsome Cyclops
in our path, and face down
the six-headed serpent

like Odysseus,
we’re all just trying to navigate
the long journey home.

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Yes

i’ve heard it said
refusing to forgive
is like swallowing poison
and waiting
for the other person to die

and yet, if we’re honest
forgiving
isn’t something we feel like doing
not really

i mean, i remember
all the ways people have failed me
and when, and i’m ready
to bring it up
at just the right moment

but, well
i don’t think corrie ten boom
felt like forgiving either
after years in a nazi death camp
when she met her captor face-to-face
and he asked
sister, can you forgive me?

but she reached out,
grasped his hand in hers
and said,
yes.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bamboo-adventure/3530133273/”>Richard.Asia</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Mother is afraid of singleness. Her private Neptune – I was born watching soap operas and not facing true reality. She utilizes the mind over vision
experimentally. Never do I, incurably so, in times of singleness smudge our halcyon
dinners. The nights of fear, more entreated by our cool blue insincerity? No, I
respond. Meanwhile destiny says mother may dream in scarlet colors. If I were to dream in violet, my life would ignite into brilliant hues.

This was inspired by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt and the Romanian poem “My mother is afraid of loneliness” by Doina Ioanid. I thought of this as an exercise in stream of consciousness. I loved this prompt and will definitely use it with students if I go back to teaching in the future.

did you know
your first birthday
marked my one year anniversary
as a superhero?
that’s right, i’m now a mother
and though i’d always wished
for a superpower like flight
shape-shifting
or better yet
the ability to move things with my mind
i’ll take the powers of pregnancy and birth
the ability to wipe away your tears
and hold you for hours
the power to love you
with all i am
was
am yet to be

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