#RIP – my friend

I try to piece together the life
he must have lived
how long it has been, how little I know
how little everybody seems to know:
puzzle bits scattered on the table
too many that don’t fit
so many misplaced
how many no one knows are lost —
a freeze frame in the continuum
a picture unfinished forever
#RIP my friend

we need witnesses for our being
for our enduring
not for the parts we share but
for what we speak with the moon at
two in the morning
for what has broken and healed and
broken and healed
scar tissue plump with unwritten stories
for the falling, for the failing,
for the days we built ourselves
calloused hands shoring up our souls
an old sweater stuffed into the hollow
left by a missing brick
#RIP my friend

a goodbye needs to be accountable
if it knows there won’t be another
it should become sky, bell, memorial:
who said goodbye first when we met last
what did you say before you left
did I turn away
did you not hear
now I hold the wind and the rain
and a blur of may-may-not-have-beens
memory does not keep well if we don’t
retrieve and cajole and embellish:
remember, I want to say, remember the time…
but a piece falls unnoticed at the far
end of the table
and all that hums is the silence of
too many, too many years gone by

go gently, go in grace, go to that place
where dreams do not end
#RIP my friend

23 thoughts on “#RIP – my friend

  1. I love the part about needing witnesses. I too want to know more about people. Not what they do but who they are. Our shared humanity at work.


  2. “how little everybody seems to know:” – as one tries to reflect on a friend’s or loved one’s passing – do we really know that person. Could we really know…
    You honor your friend with each line


  3. “we need witnesses for our being
    for what we speak with the moon at
    two in the morning”

    These lines speak the loudest to me. Everyone needs someone to speak the truths that weren’t obvious or clear or easily shared, but that were an important parts of a life now gone quiet.


  4. A lovely requiem, timely in that a dear friend’s grandson died unexpectedly at the age of 21. Your words are eloquent, oh so eloquent!


  5. “memory does not keep well if we don’t
    retrieve and cajole and embellish”
    : oh, how true.

    I like the repetitions used in the poem, it serves to heighten the sorrow in the words.


  6. Sad indeed to lose an old friend. And not to have been able to say goodbye, or at least to have a clear memory of that last time (even if you didn’t then identify it as the last) … yes, that would be hard indeed, and dispiriting. But we have whatever memories we have. In the end, with anyone we must part from, we can only send them on their way with love, and the hope that they may find peace. I’m shedding a few soft tears now for some I won’t see again in this life.


  7. When I read this yesterday, I was moved by its tenderness, its beauty, its implied cascading and drying of tears. Yet, I chose not to share any thoughts.Then, today, I got sad news from a dear friend involving the recent death of her estranged son…it’s complicated. And it strikes me how the grief of estrangement must pale in comparison to finality without reconciliation. Your poem reminds me that in anguish, there is grace and healing … after a time. I hope that time arrives for you. ~ Catherine


    1. Dear Catherine, thank you for your words. I am so sorry to hear of the passing away of your friend’s son. Am humbled and grateful this poem appeared at the right time for you. Maybe that was its journey. I wish for healing and strength for us all. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so moving, Rajani. Beautiful………I especially resonate with “not for the parts we share but
    for what we speak with the moon at two in the morning for what has broken and healed and
    broken and healed”. Sigh. I am so sorry you have lost your friend.


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