Tim Sackton CC
Sometimes on a Sunday Afternoon – An Elegy
If you are very lucky, long ago, you find yourself sitting beside someone so different from you, it makes no sense when one day comes and you realize they are a friend who gets you, to the point you cannot
look them in the eye for a while and many times, in the future, not at all because they see and hear what you cannot say out loud.
Through your time together they will walk up behind you, and push their hands into your shoulders, move you reluctantly forward, disregard your insistence: You need to curl your toes on the sharp edge
your entrenched fear of everything.
It is their gift to never tire of you and your reluctance, constant measuring of risk, your sudden bravery beyond. You can cast off the mask haunting you because that friend frowns at you, smiles at you, rages about you, speaks up for and to you, continues to still sit down next to you, across from you, or in the mud of the mess you made of it all.
And then one day time is undone. They die. You feel forever on your own.
If you are lucky again in this death’s passage of time, too long and too short, you find yourself no longer missing them in this place gated by despair and breathless longing but instead on a Sunday afternoon feel them summoned by one shared habit – making a meal together.
You feel them sit down beside you, bump you with their shoulder, and reach over for your wine glass.
Full of hope, now you are certain. Beings can slip past the notice of the gatekeepers of time and space, can cross over, past our pleading for just moments more, and be fully present scent and sound, the realized spice, and tone beyond memory
be again realized rock-solid presence.
So when you stand up to go into the kitchen they come with you and laugh at your inept way of cutting up tomatoes, “You know one day….”, and you find your breath filled with mercy and gratitude that once a friend so unexpected found you and you shaped a different way to be because they saw you, told you your shortcomings but still roared at the sky with you and now though both of you stand on opposite sides of death
you know they love you still.
Karen Keefe (she, her) was one of the editors of The Parlor City Review. Her work is published in Anima, Anti-Heroin Chic, Silver Birch Press, unstamatic, Poetry as Promised, and POETiCA REViEW. She can be found on Instagram @dragonkkg, and on Twitter @karen_keef.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.