Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Odd Letter to an Old Friend

Sarah sometimes marvels

At the weirdness of male friendships.

"You go without talking

For years and then start up again,

Like you've never lost touch,

With no apologies, hardly,

Just the briefest catch-up,

Like nothing has to be discussed."

It's not quite that simple.

No longterm friendship's effortless.

Even old frat-boy pals

And comrades-in-arms can bicker

Anxiously as any

Insecure middle-school girlfriends

(And countless, complaining

Presidential memoirs prove this).

For myself, I sometimes 

Wondered whether my good friend James

Had perished in those years

He was around one side of the world,

I around the other,

Old traveling companions lost,

Thanks to more traveling.

Men are sentimental that way.

Then we're in touch again,

Quickly recapping our updates,

Professions, illnesses,

People and places gained and lost,

And back to the real news,

What are you reading and writing?

What do you think of this?

Do you still maintain that theory?

This, that, and not so much.

As little as I can these days.

The President? So-so.

The theory? Dead in the water,

Even if mostly true. 

The news? All traffic accidents,

Difficult to avoid,

Sickening to look at closely.

Yeh, man, I did that too;

Gave my televisions away

Years ago, even though

I still can't kick the Internet.

Our ordinary thoughts

On our extraordinary lives

(Now there's a talking point!

Are all lives extraordinary,

Given that no one can

Escape one's singular viewpoint,

Which must, therefore, be rare,

Of necessity?), here and gone.

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