by Al Munns

So long since 18...

Since Suzanne's walk and Canter's runs.

They matter now, and probably even then

But I was buried under being 18...

The lure of graduation was NOT saying goodbyes.

It teased with promises, whispered but heard:

The future would always be happy,

And friends, forever.

Not true, said Woolen, and maybe I heard more clearly.

"It would not be just lesser known classmates"

So then I quit listening.

All would stay safe with me in that June 5th cocoon

With Kornegay correctly prophetic

About what we would remember...

I tried SO hard to forget and often it worked

But not with Hatchel, or Bucky, or our Queen

And beautifully not with Suzanne.

Yet the years would not stop...

And then I gave up not cherishing what we have become

And not honoring those we have lost.

Recent years have battered our numbers with reminders

That old is hard

Tommy and Alma and Judy and Jackie

And Beverly and Bonnie and Big James and Caldwell

Our litany; our loss.

All thirty (or more) mattered...all gone too soon.

I did not listen enough - not nearly enough.

So long.

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