Monthly Archives: June 2017

Several years

Cemetery

I stopped to visit you today
Several years too late
Several years after you killed yourself
Several years I’ve been trying to forget
These several years you’ve been here
In this country cemetery

For several years we were friends
We were together almost every weekend
Talking, laughing, having adventures, drinking
One of those was a problem
But I didn’t realize
It was covering for something else

Several years ago, you made a decision
You thought the world was better without you
That wasn’t true
It’s never true

We had a falling out
Not a bang but a whimper
I guess it was more like a fading out
Your behavior grew strange
But I made myself a stranger
When I should have stayed your friend

We stopped hanging out
Things happened with you
We didn’t talk any more
Not that we didn’t want to
We just didn’t
But I figured we would

The last time you called me you didn’t seem well
But you didn’t seem sick
Or desperate
Or despairing
Or despondent
Or depressed

But you were just trying to do your best
I was listening
But didn’t hear
I don’t remember the conversation
Other than that it was a bit awkward
And that I didn’t tell you I missed you
And that I didn’t thank you for being my friend
And that I didn’t realize
The things I’d realize
Until too late
Several years later

I heard about the trouble
I didn’t realize your struggle
Then I heard that you were gone
And I realized I wasn’t there for you
That a lot of your friends weren’t there for you
Would it change things if you knew
That we still cared?

For several years
I’ve driven past this cemetery
Not realizing this is where you are
Not trying to realize
Trying to forget instead
But the other day I found out
So I drove out and stopped the car
And with little thought
Your stone was in the first section I walked
The dirt in front of it seemed fresh
As fresh as memories
From several years ago

The road where we split up is paved with the things I didn’t say
We had wonderful times, but terrible timing
But it’s not too late to say I’m sorry to a friend
I’m sorry to a friend …
Like a stone in a stream
Life smoothes all our edges
‘Til we barely make a ripple any more
But those times in my life will live with me forever [1]

Today I had a nice talk with you
Several years too late
I thanked you for your friendship
I told you I was sorry
Several years too late
And I don’t know if you can hear me
But know that I understand
As much as we can
That you were a tortured soul
And while we weren’t there
Several years ago
You will be with us
Always

I took the back way home
And a lady in an SUV flashed her lights
Sure enough, at the bottom of the hill
A police car was waiting and watching
And I realize how many times
Strangers help each other
Yet friends who are like brothers
Take each other for granted
And neglect the seeds they’ve planted
For several years

Today is the time to make amends
Don’t carry tomorrow your silence with friends
Lest it not reach their ears
For several years

[1] Lyrics from “Sorry to a Friend,” Edwin McCain, © 1995 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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