I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

24 May 2015

Oldest Friend

We met sitting next to each other
at Library School, before we had
husbands or children, or even jobs.

But it took us half a term
to begin talking to each other
instead of the girls on our other sides.
Once started, never entirely stopped.

Our sons were companions
in their earliest years, because we
their mothers liked being together.

We both made poems, always.
She came with me to bring
poetry workshops into prison.

She was my boss
at two different libraries
(when, by then, I'd ditched the career
and was working part-time).

She knows where all my bodies
are buried. As I do hers.
And the names of the secret lovers.

A couple of quarrels, soon over.
One large misunderstanding 
moved past rather than resolved.
(Each still feels right, but — shrug.)

Jokes, allusions, and a special nickname
no-one else is left alive 
to understand.














Written as a list poem for 'Friday Recipe' at 'imaginary garden with real toads' (each stanza an item on the list of our friendship's development). Also linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #253


Note (re the nickname, now that some readers have worked it out): The person who gave it to me is still very much alive. It was my friend's son, when much too young to be able to say 'Ros
emary' with ease. But even he, a man now, possibly doesn't remember, and in any case would not have understood back then how and why others seized on it with delight. But my friend and I remember — as we remember those others who are no longer with us. 

33 comments:

  1. Such friends are treasures. YOU are indeed blessed. Those who have such friends are very fortunate, as it seems more and more a rarity in this day and age when people are so mobile and lose touch so easily.

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    1. Ha, ha, being elderly already has probably given me an advantage there. I grew up in less flighty times.

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  2. "She knows where all my bodies are buried"---that is not only your oldest friend....that is clearly your BEST friend :-)

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    1. I said so for years, and don't unsay it — but indeed I am surely blessed, as the same criteria apply to two others whom I have also labelled that way; and have had them a long time too, though not so long as this one.

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  3. a true friendship is always so deep and rare & you are a lucky soul....

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  4. How wonderful to have a friend that can overlook temporary differences as they are so small in the big picture of true friendship.

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  5. But it took us half a term
    to begin talking to each other
    instead of the girls on our other sides.
    Once started, never entirely stopped.

    Loved these lines! Sometimes friendship between two people is so special.. its like a telepathic connection :D Beautifully executed Rosemary :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  6. 'She knows where all my bodies are buried' - what a powerful line...a true friend indeed and one that seems to bring a strength and knowing to who you are...

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  7. This poem makes me happy! Everyone should have at least one friend with such a history.

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  8. Those friends that know us better than we know ourselves sometimes. There will be differences, but in the end the journey of friendship is a rare treasure.

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  9. Rosemary this rings so true.....such a friendship we all hope to have....yes my oldest friend knows where those bodies are buried too....there is no one closer....my confessor.....my friend.

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  10. This type of friendship is the type we all wish for.. All those things you know and the connection are like roots that give our garden life..

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  11. I'm wondering if the raspberry has to do with the secret nickname. Anyway, everyone can relate to this kind of time-line of a special friendship.

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    1. Exactly, Fireblossom! I was wondering if anyone would pick it.

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  12. You are blessed to have such a long-lasting friendship.

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  13. I love the line of slow developing relationships...they are as you proved here....keepers!

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  14. Buried bodies, secret lovers... you have to take care of a friend like that. Because she's worth it, and man, she could do some damage if you pissed her off. :)

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    1. Except she wouldn't, that's the thing. She's just not that kind of person.

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  15. I have a friend still from those long-ago days. Loved this - "she knows where all my bodies are buried", LOL - and I picked up on the raspberry, too.

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  16. How good it must feel to have someone like that in your life--you make that feeling of special closeness over time exceptionally real here.

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  17. Rosemary,

    Love the true friendship involved in this poem; after all, knowing where the bodies are buried and the names of secret lovers, must truly extol great trust!! A real friend indeed!
    Eileen

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  18. Hi Rosemary,

    this one here is an example of those situations where i need to reach old age to fully relate to it, still i've seen this in movies and in my maternal grandma's life...so yeah. very serene.

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  19. Sounds like a true friend! Beautiful.

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  20. you are so lucky to experience such friendship; but blessed the angels who come and go also;

    have a nice Sunday

    much love...

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  21. This is the kind of friendship that is very special. I have had and still have close and good friends but not quite the kind your warm words depict.

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  22. This is dense with compassion and growth...what an amazing relationship. ♥

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  23. I only have one friend like that. It's a treasure. This is a good list of memories and appreciation.

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  24. A true friend is a rare gem. One can feel it in your poem Rosemary!

    Hank

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  25. Best friends, very good to have.

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  26. I like the way the poem enhances how friendship grows. I could relate to it.

    spectacular in the jagged edges of mind

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  27. i love this so much.

    i'm still looking for that 'perfect' friend.

    ah, where is she?? :)

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  28. Ah, the beautiful bond of friendship. This made me think of a certain friend to whom I am really close. Such friendships are rather special. :)

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