Family

Friend Poem No. 5

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I have a friend
Named Tim
Whom I met
Over a cubicle wall–

Me telling him too many stories
Me laughing too loud
Me making people think HE was the trouble-maker
Me “volunteering” him for more, frantic life.

I would send him notes
Through a crack
In the wall.

He would send the paper back
With an emoji
Drawn on
The other side.

He gasps loudly when he is surprised.
He sideways glances when he
Wants to let you in on a secret.
He sometimes giggles a fast-dissolving giggle,
When he is happy or tickled
With good news.

He has a shirt covered in giraffes.
Another one in gingham.
He loves otters.
He doesn’t like sweets.
Someone once told me he wished he owned a llama.

Once, outside a church,
An old homeless man
Called us outside,
Told us story after story
Of Detroit movie theaters
Now closed.

And Tim listened,
Intently,
For as long as the man talked,
Nodding kindly and offering,
“Mmmm, yes, you’re right about that,”
To a man who needed
A friend.

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