FRESH OFF THE PAGE: new friend

new friend

new friend

today we met
at last, recognizing
a fellow traveler,
worn and weary, too,
from a long road;
dusty, dreary,
bent and bruised
but not all broken,
only a little worse
for the wear

hands and hearts
clasped in friendship;
I shared my story,
heard yours,
as you spoke quietly,
finding a voice,
one word following
slowly, surely
the heels of another,
coming back to life

then all was still;
and we found
on the unending road
we were not alone;
we walked instead
side by side,
expecting nothing,
but offering all,
hoping together
our news is good

This poem emerged from my meeting yesterday with the kitten Rosie and her family. I saw them again when I picked Clark up at the vet’s office after his surgery  (which fortunately went well). Rosie had a few stitches above her eye, which they said was still intact. Whether she would be able to see out of it again was undetermined; they would know more once the swelling finally went down.

They took Rosie out of her crate so I could see her. She was looking around, excited, crawling across the little girl’s shoulder, who smiled down at her happily. She was not seeing the stitches or the swelling or the kitten she had dreamed of, I think, but the kitten she now held. Imperfect but still beautiful, loving, and needing to be loved and helped.

I saw the girl wore the same pink t-shirt I’d seen her in that morning, dotted with a few specks of blood from Rosie’s nose or head injury. She had not changed it or taken it off, her mother had not insisted. Maybe neither of them had noticed. I looked at the small red dots on the pink fabric. They were dry now and would not come out most likely. But somehow I didn’t think it would matter.

I thought again how mysterious and fortuitous the universe can be, that I had wondered about Rosie, the girl and her mother so much and hoped to learn how the tiny kitten had fared. We smiled and wished each other well as we left the vet’s office last evening, carrying our small charges home. One day, under better circumstances, I hope I’ll meet my new friends again. This poem is for them.


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