FRIENDS, AT TIMES, MUST LOOK AT EACH OTHER
AND PREPARE TO SAY SOMETHING...
SOMETHING...NOT TOO BIG,
BUT SOMETHING THAT SAYS GOOD-BYE,
WARM, SAD, A THICKNESS NEAR THE THROAT.
AND YET, IT JUST DOESN'T COME OUT RIGHT.
IT SITS IN THERE LIKE SOME NEIGHBOR'S CAT,
NOT MOVING, NOT STIRRING
UNTIL...AND THEN IT'S TOO LATE
BECAUSE GOOD-BYE BECOMES GONE.
WHEN YOU THINK OF IT, THOUGH,
GOOD-BYE IS WASTED
FOR SOMEWHERE BACK IN YOUR MIND,
IN SOME SPECIAL CORNER,
THIS FRIEND HAS CARVED DEEP INITIALS
INTO A VERY GOOD TREE.
AND YOU DON'T DO MUCH
WITH A VERY GOOD TREE,
BUT WATCH IT STRETCH AND GROW
AND READ WHAT WAS WRITTEN THERE
YEARS AND YEARS AGO.
*I wrote this for my first 8th grade homeroom's graduation back in 1970; and I have meant it for all those many students who, over the years, have been and will coninue to be my friends.