Sometimes Friends Don’t Have to Talk


Just before I met you for lunch today
I got a call.
It was a short message
for the caller knew that once she told me
there could be no words back from me.
“Could” being the magical words there.
“Sweet Jane died” she said
using my pet name for her.
Followed by “I’m so sorry, Michael”.
She may have said more.
I’m really not sure.
Those words are the only ones I heard.
Everything else just ceased to be.
Oh, I was still driving through the cold, rainy day
but it was all rote; all automatic.
I nearly called and told you
I couldn’t make it for I just got the word
that a friend had died.
But there were some problems with that.
First, I knew there was no way to talk.
Words would not be able to escape
for if I tried, the emotions would shove them
all aside and wash them away.
Then, too, there is that word “friend”.
How feeble that word is
and everything else I can think of is so trite.
I’ll not try to find some expression;
some description of her and of us.
Just know that if you read through all the pages and poems
she’s in nearly every single one.
Somehow I switched it all off and went ahead to meet you.
We talked and planned and got all that business
out of the way.
I even laughed and joked a bit.
I couldn’t tell you.
Hell, I couldn’t even think about it.
Still, that interaction with you helped.
That’s what friends can do
even without speaking.
But tonight I can’t turn it off.
If I could gather all the emotions that are swirling about
I would just pour them upon this page.
Instead, I will just turn the music up . . .
and maybe read some of those pages
and visit with some memories of Sweet Jane.

Michael Mathews
November 12, 2018
Monday 6:38 PM
In my RV by the lake