Three Years

Three years ago today, I found my best friend. Took him to an orchestra concert, and talked with him until 3am. He heard a Tchaikovsky symphony for the first time that night, and the wonder I saw in him has stayed in my heart and mind since then.

The past three years have not all been the best of my life, though the last one’s been pretty amazing, so here’s to three years of knowing you, and here’s to a lifetime of learning who we are. I couldn’t have found a better best friend, and every day I love you just a little bit more.

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Whenever I spend time away from you, it feels like I’ve forgotten something important. Like something is missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. But then you send me a message, say good morning or goodnight, and I realize what’s missing is you. The longer you’re away from me, the more intense the feeling gets, until the only desire I have is seeing you. It’s ridiculous how much I love you, and how much I miss you, but I wouldn’t want to stop loving you, no matter how much relief it brought, because I know that just being where you are will always bring me more.

The Day Before

The day before your birthday, we sat with our feet in the river and talked. We said all the things we could only say when we were alone; the ways your dad drives you crazy, the childish mishaps we had when we were dating, the things we momentarily forgot in the comfort of the present… It was the day before your birthday, and I got us matching notebooks. Small, leather, with binder clasps to refill them. Mine a deep, matte teal, yours an almost glossy brown. I hope every time you write in it you think of me, and of talking with our feet in the river, the day before your birthday.

Happy birthday to my best friend in the world.  I love you.

 

Dear June

Dear June

It’s hard to believe it’s been
almost four years
since you left all of us who
love you.
It’s harder still to believe all the
things that have happened
since then.

Dear June

The last thing you told me
was how proud you were
seeing me dance in college
and seeing everything I was
striving to accomplish.
Even though you couldn’t
be there in person
it meant a lot to me
how much you cared.
Even as you fought for
every minute you
gave some of those minutes
to me.

Dear June

I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you more after I
graduated from high school and
left your studio.
I never even picked up
the DVDs of my
last recital with you.
I’ve never been good at
staying in touch
even with the people who
used to matter the most.

Dear June

I’m sorry I never came to
say goodbye.
I was scared and didn’t know
how to handle pain and grief
so big and strong.
I’m still not sure what to
do with it
despite having it in my heart
so long.

Dear June

I know that this is
too little, too late
talking to you like this now
but I have so much to tell you
that you can’t be around to hear.
I’m really a teacher now.
I’ll be in my first classroom
starting this fall
and I know you’d still be
so proud of how much I’ve grown
from that little girl just
six years old
into who I am today.

Dear June

I hope you know
I miss you.
The peace you have now is
well-deserved.
I’m glad you’re not in pain
anymore.

Office

You tuck me into bed
kiss my forehead
and wander
back out of the room.
I can see the light
in the hallway
through the
crack beneath our
bedroom door
and I know
you’re in your office
still working
still building the future
and I know you’ll
come to bed later
and be up before I’m awake
and as much as I
wish you’d sleep more
I know this is
important
to you
to me
to us
and that
even as I fall asleep
you’re working to
keep what we have
safe.

For Everything

For all the times you’ve ever refused to kiss me, refused even a hug, I am still full of contentment and joy in the company of you. For all the explanations back and forth, the why’s of my physical expression of affection, the why’s of you being selective and sparing of the same, I think I love you more. For all the things we know so far, and all the things we’ve yet to learn, I am certain this will be something built to last. For all the times I say I love you, I never mean it less.

Nightmare

Five years passed with
nothing wrong.
Stopped the meds
and feeling strong.

First visit back
results no good.
Did we do
everything we should?

Have to wait
and look again
anxious hearts
remember what’s been.

Five years Mom’s been
cancer-free
but was it truly
meant to be?

Hopefully it’s
just a scare
we all must hope theres
nothing there.

Controlled Chaos – Or – Friday in Mr. Schatter’s Second Grade Room

For Andy Schlatter and his 2017-’18 students.  Thank you for letting me join in the fun.

Finish your breakfast
come to the rug
tell me good morning
I’ll say it with love

Time for math
we’ve finished our game
check with your friends
are the answers the same?

Off to the library
a story and books
if you can’t find it
the teacher knows where to look

Read by yourself
or read with a friend
some always wish that
reading would end

Empty classroom
lunch is bliss
but I wouldn’t wish for
a whole day of this

Out to the playground
the kids scream and run
it’s outdoor recess
and we’re all having fun

Until somebody pushes
and the other one shoves
and someone ends up
with wet muddy gloves

Back inside
to sit at our desks
quiet music plays
as we let our brains rest

Then to the rug
where without fail
read aloud promises
a very good tale

Writing is next
though some try to delay
they complain about
writing nonfiction today

PE is next
the kids run in the gym
no matter the game
they all want to win

Tired and hungry
it’s finally snack
there’s only one juice
and they all want it bad

The last thing we do
at the end of the day
is free choice time
and everyone plays

Time to clean up
it’s a quarter to three
but nobody listens
or seems to hear me

Ring the chime
and wait for their eyes
listen and smile
as the noise slowly dies

Three o’clock-ish
we walk out the door
the chairs are all stacked
and we’ve picked up the floor

Parents and siblings are
waiting outside
some of the kids
have to go wait inside

Back to the classroom
the end of my day
it’s all just controlled chaos
but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t Understand

I do not have
many friends
and that is okay.
People aren’t nearly as
interesting as they
believe themselves to be.

I thought you
were my friend
but now I’m
not so sure.
You’re still interesting
but you don’t
understand.

You ask
“Why don’t you
go out more?”
Say
“He doesn’t love you.
Just go find
someone new.”
But it’s
not as easy
for me
when I seem to
see through people
so quickly.

Yes
I’m in love with
my best friend.
Yes
I know it’s one-sided
but I also know how
rare it is
for me to feel
so invested
in someone.

I don’t want to
let that go.