She Reminds Me

My best friend is a prism.

It’s almost a party trick.

Have her walk into any room

and she’ll find the light where

it’s creeping through a windowsill

and bend it into rainbows

that bounce off the walls,

so you can almost hear the shimmer.

People blink and shield their eyes,

and I smile as in the usual way,

someone approaches her –

probably someone who gave up on rainbows

when they were very young,

and is now wondering if they could be more

than just a childish dream.


My best friend is a jungle queen.

In the treetops with a skirt

made of palm fronds,

she twists vines around her arms

and mixes her own paint,

trying to match the colours of the parrots

and cockatoos and birds of paradise

at her elbows.

She draws vivid peace stripes on her cheeks

then kneels to adorn the faces

of her adopted babies,

child after child with matted hair

and eyes that have seen too much,

taken under her expansive, feathery wings.


My best friend is an elderly monk.

On the mountaintop of her mind,

she sits in simple white-green robes,

listening to the roll of her breath

and the wind, uniting them.

She forgets herself up there,

sighs in her personal bliss,

then starts the slow descent

back to earth,

back to toil and pain and lost socks,

back for the rest of us.


But best of all, my friend is

the keeper of my most private memories,

a golden birdcage with wide-set bars

in which I’ve placed the shyest butterflies

of my soul, and where I know they are safe.

For the rest of my life, when she laughs,

I’ll feel thirteen again,

and recall the summers of pizza pretzels

and slurpees and 5-cent candies

in brown paper bags,

weekends of movies in our parents’ basements

and stories about boys

and confusing thoughts about girls.

When she laughs I’m reminded

that no matter what,

there will be movies under blankets

and sugar-induced brain freezes

and jokes only the two of us will understand,

jokes that make me think for a moment

we are still that young

and life is still that simple.




P.S. If you like, check out my Etsy store and support The Humane League!


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