For Sally

This gray morning, as I pull tight my coat
and pass the cars shivering
in the autumn dew, I remember
someone I once knew. It’s a good memory,
and I warm myself by its flames.

I spin my mind back through
more of those times, and draw aside
the curtain to look once again
into the faces of my early friends.
How young the faces. How long ago.
How different we all are. Now
I am a scarred swan,
too old to wait anymore for my life
to flourish. Knowing better.

Knowing that you have to risk for love.
That you must relinquish, remove the mask
and expose the tender root.
Knowing that some people are worthy of it.
That they will balance your trust against their own
and cradle it in their palms.

Remembering that friend I knew. The greatness in her.
Remembering how little we talked, me shy
and always believing in later.
But now, no longer blind to the shortness of time.
Too experienced now, too familiar with the sound
a dream makes when it breaks, to believe in later.
Too afraid of missing her forever, not to press send.

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