A friend talks past bedtime,
skittering from giggle to gasp
because you’ve been fending off loneliness
one day too long.
A friend pours love
into giant wicker baskets
filled with ginger ale, Legos, lavender bath salts
because being sick in a pandemic is hard.
A friend swings through Seven-Eleven
with your kids in the backseat
because a slushie and a candy bar
make long school days and late workdays easier.
A friend personalizes t-shirts
in the only spare minutes of her day
Because “trading a brother for a Lego set”
will make vacation extra-special.
A friend messages a photo
of a pig-tailed, grinning niece
because that grin will make your heart dance.
And you need a smile.
A friend detours
on your birthday
so she can take you to breakfast,
even though the stop is miles out of her way.
A friend catches your eyes
and asks, “Are you okay?”
because she knows you probably aren’t,
and she wants to make it better.
A friend walks
in front of you
and behind you
all at once.
A friend has a key to your house and another to your soul.