"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Commencement


This poem (or something like it) has been floating around in my head for weeks. I would jot down a line or a thought at work, or on a napkin at dinner.

The thought behind it actually came from Facebook, of all places. I reluctantly joined Facebook a few years ago, mostly to silence the cries of a few friends. What I found there was, well, my husband, for starters. We had gone to high school together, but were only acquaintences. I reconnected with him and started to get to know someone I grew to love deeply.

But Facebook has also given me another amazing gift. It is a portal into the lives of people I have known forever, just met, and others that are somewhere in between. People from across the country that I would otherwise have lost touch with, or only shared a birthday email or maybe a phone call once a year. Instead, I instantly see pictures of their child’s birthday parties, hear of important occurrences in their lives, or get the opportunity to support them when they need it, becoming one of a chorus of supporters during hard times.

I have watched friends I love gain strength, in part, because of that support. But mostly, I have had a heavy heart in seeing what so many people I care about are going through.

Life is hard. Beautiful, but hard.


Commencement

We could not have known-

Standing in a sea of caps and gowns…

A milestone behind us.

A mixture of emotions-

in our youth, but a whisper.



In a book meant to last forever,

our names under frozen smiles-

our signatures a flourish-

bright with hope…

ready for the next chapter.



We could not have known

that love waited beyond the walls

of those four years.

That we would become such different people

than who we were then.



We could not have known

That the joy of a child’s birth

would change our view of the world.

That our own marriages could fail,

despite the pictures, the vows, and love itself.



We could not have known

That loss came in an array of colors

that did not dim with the passage of time-

but instead, gained vividness

on anniversaries and random Tuesdays.



We could not have known

Friends would bury their children,

Illness would strike in unexpected places,

Our former heroes reduced

to a normal existence.



We could not have known

that friends from a lifetime ago

would come rushing back

to save us,

Just in time.



We could not have known

How strong we all could be.

How much we could survive.

How much there was to learn.

How precious the moments of every day are.



And it is better

that we could not have known.

How beautiful were the moments

before the sorrow...

How thankful we are for what happened next.



There was no other way…

We could not have known.

2 comments:

Loredana April 11, 2011 at 10:14 AM  

Beautiful poem! Something to be read at a high school graduation for things to come...

Eva Gallant April 11, 2011 at 12:30 PM  

What a wonderful poem! It captures reality!

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