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Friend

“When you invest in love, the same will be returned.”
    ~ Ellis Paul, “Never Lived at All” from the album Carnival of Voices (1995)

We met
At the house your family had rented on Florida Street
Your mom spoke a different language
I never knew which
There in late prepubescence
When these things mattered no more
Than the messes made by your little brother
“The messer”
Than the boxes I had to fight my way out of
With you
Than two misfits from out of town
Which might as well be from out of this world
There in the backyard that would see no more snowmen
The owner too much like all the others
Having a daughter too much like all the others
Everyone too much like all the others
To join us
Thinking it strange for a girl and boy our age
To spend so much time together

We parted
When your family left town within the year
I knew only too well
How many years could pass before I’d have another friend
So close in body and soul
And though you never wrote
It was comforting to realize you were out there
I’d wonder what you were doing
Painful as it was to only wonder
Life would’ve been more painful had you stayed
Either with me, fighting an escalating battle
Against the discrimination toward the different
With no community to call our own
Or separately, trying to work your way inside
The acceptable the tolerable the mundane
The asinine
The crowd that said of its school where metal bars blocked the windows
“Chew tobacco chew tobacco chew tobacco spit!
  If you ain’t bison you ain’t shit!”
No, it was for the best you weren’t there with me
So I could envision you being someplace far better

Thanks always returns

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