In Scars and Letters

He wasn’t always old.

For years, at breakfast,
Saturday, A.M.,
The five of them sat
Laughing, in a booth,
These friends of countless
Days and years, with miles
Made of joking laid
Between them.

Though each their
Missteps made, they had
Each other’s deep but light
Regard, respect shown best
In humorous asides.

A company of men who tried
To be the men their fathers were
Or weren’t; each journey carved
In scars and letters, wrinkles,
And in love.

But absences began, as sure
They must: for time takes
Soldiers in, onto the
Battlefield we last must
Face, and slowly, gradually,
The voices raised in laughter
Shrank in count.

This is the bravery
We’re never told we’ll need:
How to go on without,
And how immortal friendships
Dwindle with mortality.

Now there’s just him:
And laughter like a favorite song
Still lingers in his head upon
A Saturday, A.M, without a place
To go or deep true friends
To go with.

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