Someone asks what’s on my mind, and I pause
for a second, because I can’t recall
the exact details, which class we met, what was
the surname, how many siblings in all.
But clear three shaky lines drawn with charcoal
topped with squiggly dashes to make the stumps -
the pretend-wickets dropped on that low wall,
the games of make-believe, the fights, the thumbs
clicked against teeth, the k-word, the huge lump-
in-throat walk home alone. The making-up
next morning without adult fuss, the sum
of long-lost friendship, easy childhood love.
Someone asks me what; I pause a sec and say,“Nothing. Just an old friend. His birthday today.”
I am travelling and will catch up with you when I get back. Meanwhile, wish you all the joys of the season, and a very happy, peaceful and fun 2016.