Old Friends

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been very busy planning a trip to New York to meet two friends I hadn’t seen in eight years. We’d kept in touch via social media but this was the first time I would actually see them in real life. As the trip came closer, I started to worry: what if I had built it all up in my head? What if we had become estranged from one another? All those insecurities disappeared the moment we hugged each other. In the rain, after a hellish journey. Almost like a movie. Old friends finally meeting again. That’s why this week’s poem is dedicated to them.

Old friends are a steady spring rain,
or late summer sunshine edging into fall,
or frosted leaves along a snowy path—
a voice for all seasons saying, I know you.
The older I grow, the more I fear I’ll lose my old friends,
as if too many years have scrolled by
since the day we sprang forth, seeking each other.

Old friend, I knew you before we met.
I saw you at the window of my soul—
I heard you in the steady millstone of my heart
grinding grain for our daily bread.
You are sedimentary, rock-solid cousin earth,
where I stand firmly, astonished by your grace and truth.
And gratitude comes to me and says:

“Tell me anything and I will listen.
Ask me anything, and I will answer you.”

Freya Manfred

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