Dear Friend

I’m holding space for you.
No display of emotion, no exuberance
of spirit, no spur-of-the-moment talk
nor your worst best-guarded silence
can gnaw away at the wall I build around it.

You’re an accident waiting to happen
to yourself. Alarmed I watch as you career down railroad
tracks unsuited to such high-speed trains of thought,
headed for derail. Embarrassed of myself, and
happy, when you arrive whistling and unscathed,

Your timeliness a source of wonder.
Always your words fall into place according to the true
definition of style, though your antics make me laugh:
At parties you act the fool with excellence,
all the while eyeing the backdoor for an early exit.

You leave people wondering where you
are, are much missed when absent.

Dear friend, I hold the gate. The going
through I cannot take from you.