Friendships Past


I've lost most of my friends
Many to death, some to a changing geography of my soul
And in my waning years, I have neither the energy
nor the inclination to replace them with others.

My mother at ninety buries a friend a week
And seems to have an inexhaustible supply
of new ones for the coming weeks.
I cannot emulate her. Each burial costs too much of me
There's nothing left to offer new friends
No investment I can make in them, nothing left to give.

I miss my departed friends
Repeat their names like a litany
As if naming them, conjuring their image
Could bring them back to sit around the table
Drinking wine, discussing politics and gardening
Gossiping about acquaintances,
defining and revealing our inner selves
In a way we never did with lovers.

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