Happy Birthday Buddy

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Today is Shawnie’s Birthday – would have turned 15 today. Three months it’s been, driving home, out the car with an armload of what the car needs emptied of, making way up the stairs into the house, pale silence is the door man, a stark house it takes my things. Lacking the click of happy padded nails cross tile toward me, no black wet nose against my hand as I lean down to slip off shoes, or greeting whines that ask to be let out. And faded grass is barren, too, since Shawnie went away. From next door, Harley, still he calls. The two were best of friends. One white and little all a fluff, the other black and sleek and big, they’d run and chase and bark across the yards that both were theirs. Now Harley sees the garage door wide, he makes his way to back and with his nose and handy paw, he flips a bin that holds the balls that use to be his buddies. And turning round, in mouth he carries treasures dear to Shawnie. We throw for Harley longer now, his silver too is showing. The empty house will never be the same without our Shawnie.

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Rose Blooms

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Freshman girls, grand pals they were

That walked among the beauty here.

The stories shared of boy on bus,

A broken car in drifts of snow.

Batons and cheers, and soldiers back.

The years have passed, the girls are old,

But still the path is lined with trees

And roses bloom along the wall.

The girls, they sit with silver hair,

Our small talk words get in the way

of rare and treasured moments now.

A quiet hug, goodbyes they say.

Freshman girls, grand pals they were

They walked among the beauty here

But still the path is lined with trees

And roses bloom along the wall.

Dedicated to My Mom who took a trip with me back to where she was raised,

walked with me around her old neighborhood,

peeked with me into window of the church where as a little 5th grader she gave her heart to Jesus,

walked down her violin teachers street,

round the campus of her beloved school,

past the drug store where she and Grandma had been many times,

and the drive through she worked that has since been torn down,

the pool where her Dad had been a lifeguard,

introduced me to old friends, one town friend, one country friend,

both wonderful women,

I now understand why Mom has held on to these friends over 65 years.