Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friendshift

There is a lot of drama going on over in Y!360. It all has to do they say about friendships formed on there and supposed fear of losing that as they move away. I grew up as a US Air Force officer's brat and learned early about friends that come and go. The following is the poem I was inspired to write about friendshifts.

Friendshifts

It was El Paso and her name
Was Janet Bender
My first forever and ever girlfriend
But at eight
Forever is a very, very,
Very long time

Her father got a job in Lancaster
My family moved to Albuquerque
For ages we wrote
By post
Requiring stationery and stamps
Through her family's divorce
My mother's cancer
She got married
I went to college
I wrote papers and not letters
She bought diapers and not stamps

In college there were two Barbaras
A Dorothy, a Julie and a Penny
Roommates and friends to study with
Walk to classes and talk of boys
Then President Kennedy was assassinated
They continued to talk of boys
I shifted to talk of war
They got married
I moved to DC to march
Against Vietnam

We wrote and called infrequently
They talked of crabgrass and diaper rash
I ranted about the Chicago Eight
The Kent State Ten
Bragged about having my telephone
Bugged
I think they bugged out
Maybe me
We suddenly had nothing in common
They were registered Republicans
I wanted Nixon Impeached

There are a whole list of others
Friends I identify with an age
We met
We bonded
At sit-ins on the Washington Monument
In consciousness raising groups
Protests against the death of the mini-skirt
In favor of the Equal Rights Movement
Make war for peace
Then later in T-groups and est

We were all moving so fast
One cause to the next
At the time it seemed
They chose to stop
I did not want to be
Held back

Then as if our paths
Were elliptical
We re-met
Here and there an old almost forgotten friend
Stopping in the middle of the mall
After a 12-Step group
To talk of old times
Compare notes
Friends come
Friends go
Some go only to return
When we are least expecting them

Wave goodbye it is time to go
Like musical chairs
Friends shift
Until again
We hug hello
If it is meant
To be

Jacqui Binford-Bell, October 30, 2007

The Internet has freed us up to make and break friendships so much faster. Are they less intense? More a sign of the times in our lives or less.