I stumbled across a letter from an old friend,
its contents were long and wordy but they had their end.
It was just her way of saying she appreciated our friendship.
A friendship unanchored, blew away with the wind
with paper sails that have only thinned.
Birthdays used to be a grand affair; a day to celebrate
but each year the wishes dwindle down so I reciprocate.
Radio meets silence while we're both aware of the days
until it becomes a memory of the song that no longer plays.
Too busy trying to navigate channels that changed.
Then an invitation to a graduation came to me one year
a wedge of uninterrupted distance bridged by a, "Dear."
I don't know if olive branches can hold my weighted heart
but I sent my response to expect me there
before I decided to not care.
When the day came you said, "I didn't think you would come!"
I kept quiet how I cried in my car a block from
your home. I hid my face in your arms and squeezed you tight
because the wedge between us was five-years wide.
"I said I would," is all I replied.
And we asked each other questions that friends don't ask.
What did you study? Where do you live? What do you do?
We joke around but do not laugh as hard as we used to.
My past brought to my present like a nostalgic gift.
A chance to heal over our ocean-wide rift.
And there were no known reasons! I can't turn back the clock!
I just drifted like a small boat barely tethered to its dock
until a storm came and everyone forgot to tie me down.
Or maybe it was on purpose, or maybe I couldn't secure me.
I was the fourth in a unit of three, send me out to sea.
But there is a positive to all of this turmoil
there is a reason the invitation made it to my door.
I rowed myself through the five-year waves back to shore
and tethered my boat and checked the knots times ten.
When friends become strangers we get to meet again.
I've been trying to vocalize these feelings for almost a year now. Facing down silence and distance is the hardest thing for me. I felt very alone, very lost, and like no one knew where I was or what I was doing or even cared. And then I got an invitation from an old friend to her graduation. It was terrifying, I almost didn't go even after I said I would. I was so close to just turning my car around and not showing my face. because this was my past. My old friends I hadn't spoken with in years, my own failure with college and dropping out early when for years graduating college was my goal. But I did it. And though I'm not best friends with my old friends again, I feel like I'm meeting them and I'm choosing to look at that as a good thing in this sea of turbulent emotions. I'm meeting my friends again and they won't be strangers anymore.