I had another long overdue friend date tonight. Make that L-O-N-G overdue. I met up with Michele, someone I hadn’t seen since I was in my early 20s. For realz.
I was nervous, waiting for her. What if we couldn’t find a way to talk or be comfortable with one another, what if being friends in our teens wouldn’t translate into being friends in middle age, what if?
(I will be honest and say up front that there aren’t a lot of folks I knew in my teens who I would risk meeting today. I knew Michele was one of those few I’d be safe meeting, but I was still nervous.)
But then I looked up and she was walking toward me, and I knew we would be fine. Her face, that smile. And then we were hugging and laughing, and there we were, just talking and talking.
Great evening. And a great exhibit that I need to go see again, take a closer look.
With so much to say —
all the years in between us,
the years to catch up,
all the things to remember.
Story on story,
a jumbled, hurried telling
decades in hours,
an ever-pouring fountain.
interrupted by our lives,
floods back with a welcome ease.
No envoi on this one. I thought it was going to fall into place, but the poem clearly had other ideas. I think the poem works well enough without the envoi, but I miss it, miss the rhythm of having that final tanka.
A chōka is a Japanese form poem with a specific syllable count per line. The shortest form of chōka is: 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 7. The 5- and 7-syllable lines can repeat as many times as needed. The poem’s end is signaled by the extra 7-syllable line. The final five lines can be used to summarize the body of the poem.