It's been a long, long time since anything remotely poetic flowed from my pen. This is for a friend of mine who would have celebrated his 45th birthday today, April 22nd.
The Truck in the Driveway
Running errands on a stunning Sunday afternoon, early spring,
The route chooses me, not the other way round.
My heart races,
My mind paces.
I fill with words,
Cannot create any sound – your house.
Driving past I slow down,
Must make it last.
Next door, children, not yours, play.
They see home, family, friends,
A neighbourhood – Thorncrest in its finery.
I see your lawn, your house number on the giant rock.
I want it to crumble.
Seeing this makes my heart stumble,
My emotions numb,
From my eyes, tears tumble.
It wasn’t that long ago I’d ring the doorbell,
Waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to answer.
Suddenly a half-hearted yell and then,
Absent-mindedly to the door you’d lumber, apologize.
I never told you words weren’t needed.
One sight of your smile and I was seventeen again,
Ah, if I’d only known you then!
The greatest treat, a peck on the cheek,
Felt like such a sneak.
Those memories sustained me,
Week after long week.
Never imagined they would sustain me for life,
Now that yours is done.
I see the softness of clouds,
Wind sails through them,
But all I hear is the echo of your gentle whispers of encouragement.
I see new shoots emerging on sturdy branches,
Sort of like me, blossoming from your support.
To the left,
To the right,
I see huge new homes.
The ones your neighbours lived in.
Torn, bulldozed, new homes, same ground.
I see your house.
It still stands.
I see memory.
I see the truck in the driveway, unmoved,
Still parked, seemingly eternal.
Strong, steady, sleek,
Exactly how I remember you.