A poem for a friend

Bruce and Chris Mayer back in 1979

The Healing

                                      For Bruce

Long ago we shared rides from college,
weaving our way north on county black tops
to family farms we would always call home
but only visit in short bursts or long breaks.

We stopped maybe once or twice for gas
for fries and pop at the Hardee’s on Route 30
in Carroll, about halfway between
Marcus and Ames, our past and present.

We never stopped talking as we covered
miles with debate of religion, politics,
music, girlfriends, boyfriends, families,
hopes, dreams, fears, and life in general.

And just like that three hours passed,
and we were turning into a long farm lane,
pulling out luggage and bags of laundry
first from a blue Gremlin, then a red Camaro.

And just like that four years came and went,
and we drove our separate ways on interstates
with diplomas and dreams of careers and families,
so far away from this safe green quilt of Iowa.

Little did I know then about the strength
of friendship that continues moving down a road
despite long, empty stretches of silence,
that forgets such things as time and distance.

What I do know is the healing starts here,
on this road we will always travel together.
You will find whatever it takes to keep you strong
right here on this road. Keep going. You know the way.

I wrote this poem several years ago for my friend Bruce Mayer. To thank him for visiting the other day and bumping my one-day stats significantly, I’m sharing this poem that I don’t think I’ve ever posted before. And I do it with a sense of joy — celebrating his health and happiness. I know Bruce and Chris bless every day!

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