To My Friend, With Love

All is still; all quiet;
The world seems to be at peace.
My soul is singing its rhythmic melody
And I'm led like in a trance to write its tunes.
The lyrics are for you.
The essence of friendship.

I have what so many people in this world
Yearn so desperately for: a friend.
A friend who's closer to me than skin
And worth more than life itself.

You have shared in my pain, as has no other
And touched my wounded spirit
With tender expressions of compassion.
Your heart bled when you felt my grief;
Your empathy and sensitivity
Transmitted affection no words ever could.

Your unfailing loyalty has been inexhaustible,
Regardless of what it may have cost you
Personally.
You have made great sacrifices
On my behalf
Unconditionally.

You accepted me as I was and am;
Appreciating my strengths,
Challenging my weaknesses,
Guarding my vulnerabilities,
Accepting my imperfections,
Valuing my humanity.

You have buttressed the arrows
People often shot in my direction;
Willingly absorbing suffering
Meant for me.
Adversaries tried to put a wedge between us
To no avail;
Our friendship too secure,
Our commitment too strong

Our friendship has been tested
In so many diverse ways,
But we have a love and strength of will
That refuses to let go.
Though sometimes charred, we healed,
And discovered a closer union in the process.

I'm possessive of our friendship
Because I know how rare it is
And how difficult to find
And keep.

You have earned the greatest title
That can be bestowed
Upon any human being.
The title of: Friend.

In friendship honor of Marjorie K. Thomas

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.

In The News:

Poetry: Autumn -  Adirondack Almanack
Resistance Poetry in Kashmir  Kashmir Observer
A pocketful of poetry  The Medium
Poetry in motion | Features  Victoria Advocate
Gallery hosts virtual poetry performance  The Daily News of Newburyport
Poetry: It Rained  southseattleemerald.com
Iran marks National Day of Rumi, greatest mystical poet  Mehr News Agency - English Version
Arkansas poet wins literary prize  Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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