Poem of the Week

For Dale, on his birthday

I have this friend
I’ve never met
who feels sort of
like family
in that way
that people
sometimes do

like that cousin
you never met
until you were both adults
because you grew up
in different states
but then you did
and immediately
one of your own

in the way
your jokes were got
and your weird interests
didn’t seem so weird
and you were made
to think of things
you hadn’t before
but that seemed so obvious
in retrospect

in the way
you suddenly wished
you hadn’t grown up
so far apart

I wrote this as part of a Poem-A-Day challenge, for a friend I have not “met” but sincerely hoped to. Today, Dale let his online world know that he will not be here to celebrate another birthday, news that is as unexpected as it is heartbreaking, so I wanted to post it while he’s still around.

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