Poem for a long-lost friend

longlost

Poem for a long-lost friend

It starts as a line on a paper the size of a stamp
And eventually compiles detail and direction

Into trails, avenues, settlements, named places
Sometimes the choice is not the path

But the chasm around which edge we inch carefully
Our backs to some unclimbable stone

One day I woke and like a blanket on the bed
The map of my life, where distance is measured

In years not miles, had got so large I had to fold it
And the myth of depth closed in on itself,

Parts of my life decades apart touched as I kept
Folding it so it could be held in one hand

Or a pocket. Childhood friend, meet this latest
Version of me, these faint lines on so large a landscape.

4 thoughts on “Poem for a long-lost friend

  1. robert okaji

    Ah, Jeff, sometimes it feels as if you’ve burrowed through my skull and retrieved feelings and memories directly through my cortex. This is one of those times.

    Reply
  2. Harry Miller

    “Parts of my life decades apart touched as I kept
    Folding it so it could be held in one hand

    Or a pocket.”

    Which trip to Nanjing, which me, was that?

    Reply

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