For a Friend

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

beside you

and behind you

all at once.

A friend has a key to your house and another to your soul.

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