Monthly Archives: April 2018

Mirrors

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Beth, Jordan, Julie, Cara, Sara

 

Wherever, whenever we meet

there is love.

Gathering every year or two

we see our selves in each other’s faces

the reflection of younger features known so well from pictures

shared and reshared and texted at amusing moments

for years on end

until we see the young faces in the middle-aged

and can no longer tell the two apart

and we know it doesn’t matter anyway.

We see our own selves at 19 and 26 and 30 and 38 and 42

and, now: 47, 48.

In one visit everyone suddenly has BIFOCALS

and then eventually we’ve all upgraded to PROGRESSIVES

and each time someone ventures to share another change in her life

the odd CHIN HAIR or the first HOT FLASHES

or a HEALTH SCARE or a disdain for PROMPOSALS

someone else or four someone elses raise their hands

and say, Oh, yes – me, too, with that thing you shared. Me, too.

The funny texts from parents

and kids growing up awfully fast, with moody eighth graders being a real thing

that needs to be discussed at length

and one of us with a son about to leave for the college where we all met

each other’s faces

29 years ago

and that feels very, very eerie and wonderful.

There is love

and there is laughter, so much of it,

the kind that hurts your face

and your abs

and makes you run for the bathroom very quickly after age 40

and that requires you to find a box of Kleenex fifteen minutes into the visit

because at least three of you are already crying laughing and no one can breathe

and there’s something said about starting a podcast in which it’s all dead air

because of the incessant silent unbreathing laughter

and it’s not a visit until she needs to take her inhaler from all the laughing.

Which only happens with these particular friends.

We see our past and present selves all bound into one

when we look into each other’s faces

and we see the future as well,

one in which we will take trips

New Orleans, ASAP!

Mexico, for our 50th birthdays!

or just, you know, anywhere that lets us talk

so probably not a library or movie theater

and we talk about building a compound

for us all when we get old

to take care of each other

where there will be talking and laughter

amid the shared meals and care

and noisy chickens on the roof so we always have fresh eggs,

but we won’t hear them because we’ll all be a little deaf, she assures us.

And so we stand in middle age

or rather lie doubled over laughing in middle age,

tears streaming from our eyes,

our oldest truest selves revealed to us yet again

and seeing with gratitude

past, present, and future together

in each other’s lovely faces

and all it really means is

there is love.