Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reflecting on an amazing poem and a lost friend (or 10)...

I was born and raised in a College town. Transient friendships, friendships with clear or muddy, but always inevitable ends, these friendships have almost always been a part of my life. Learning to cherish and mourn at the same time is a constant.

Anyway, I stumbled across this poem by Joanna Klink (who might be one of my new favorite poets... time to buy some of her books!). She says, "The poem is addressed to a close friend. Several decades into our friendship we become terribly estranged from each other—and I wanted to see if I could reach her in the poem, and I wanted to wish her well." 

If I could dedicate this poem to my long lost best friend, I would. I'm sorry. This poem makes me think of you.

Without further ado...

Given
by Joanna Klink

And I carried to that emptiness
between us the birds
that had been calling out

     all night. I carried an old
     bicycle, a warm meal,
     some time to talk.

I would have brought
them to you sooner
but was afraid your own

     hopelessness would keep you
     crouched there. If you spring up,
     let it not be against me

but like a weed or a
fountain. I grant you
the hard spine of your

     childhood. I grant you
     the frowning arc of this morning.
     If I could I would grant you

a bright throat and even
brighter eyes, this whole hill
of olive trees, its

     calmness of purpose.
     Let me not forget
     ever what I owe you.

I have loved the love
you felt for those gardens
and I would grant you

     the always steadying
     presence of seeds.
     I bring to that trouble

between us a bell that might
blur into air. I bring the woods
and a sense of what lives there.

     Like you, I turn to sunlight for
     answers. Like you, I am
     not sure where it has gone.