When I wrote this poem, it was a a blustery, snowy day like today. I was walking through the city and thinking about how this brutal day would have been bliss as a kid. I thought about walking home from school as a child all bundled up and how it’d take us sometimes two hours to walk 5 blocks because we’d stop and roll around in the snow. As a child, the cold and the snow are presents. On a snow day, we often could not wait to get outside and roll around in the fresh snow. There were days when we’d spend all day outside playing in it, unaware of how cold we were exactly. As we grow up, we lose some of that. We might pray for a snow day (as I am now) for a break from work, so we don’t have to endure shoveling before work, icy roads, cleaning off snow from our cars. We don’t want to be outside most of the time. As I thought about the difference in how these days were viewed in childhood verses adulthood, it also led me to think about friendship. When we are young, we are so unaware that there will come a day when it won’t always be easy to find someone to play with outside in the snow. The older we get, the more closed off we become to letting others in. We often become icy at times to others. I watched the kids play in the park and this feeling of loneliness and nostalgia come over me, as I recognized how wonderful a time it is when you’re young that you go outside and sometimes just interact and play with other kids due to your mutual love of play. It made me feel sad that we lose that. I hear from patients all the time, how hard it is to ‘make a friend,’ the older they get. It’s true, as we get older and become adults, we become invested in our jobs, our relationships, life, and it’s hard to remember how much we need friends. Friendship is one of the most remarkable and unique of relationships in life because we ‘choose it.’ We are not connected by anything but our mutual decision that we like each other and want to spend time investing ourselves in one another. As we get older, a lot of loneliness in this world is caused because we forget the power of that relationship. As I walked, I watched the kids enjoying the snow, as I was wet, freezing, etc, yet I was envious. I remember getting home and just wanting a friend to come over and hang out during the snow day like never before. I ended up writing this poem in response.
Time has no meaning.
We weren’t built with any process
Simple words collided and make a poem
That’s how friendship forms-
Just there anyway weren’t we?
The sound of a bell. It
Bringing children forward into lines.
I’m thinking of you as this happens.
The geese have disappeared.
Snow crunches underfoot.
I lay down in a patch of untrodden snow.
I think of all the names that no longer connect
To the owners of them. I wonder
Long after my name has flown away
If anyone pauses and hears it, now
Full of distance and mystery. For a moment,
I miss all the friends that lost their way to or from me.
Heart pounding. Snow falls piling on the roads.
It collects on the trees, weighing down branches,
Its heaviness collects like the sigh I’ve been holding in.
Loneliness is beginning to feel more permanent,
Then just an external event. How many forecasts
Have come and gone, how many school bells
Since we walked home in our moon man clothes,
Trying to catch a single snowflake on our tongues.
I stick my tongue out today and realize how hard it is to do.
Nobody tells you a lot of things that will come to be.
Some they do, but nobody said anything about
How hard it’d be to find a friend, so perfect and complex.
We wished for snow back then.
Today I just wish for a friend, like you,
Who always knew how to make every moment happen.