Sally Clark poetry: Best Friends

 

I don’t know what I was looking for
when I walked into your shop that day,
a card, I think, and certainly not a
friend, but there you were when
your phone rang, your daughter calling
to cry her disappointment in a “B” on one of
her papers and I laughed and said a “B”
would be a blessing from my son
in the same grade.

Breakfast being the only time we
could share a meal, you had to cancel
the first time, but I insisted on another day,
and you never know, when things get started,
how nourishing they might become,
meeting once a week, consuming so much
more than coffee.
Never coffee.
Dr. Pepper and hot tea more to taste,
bacon and no eggs,
lots of cheese and fruit, please, but
there was a phase
with hamburgers
that we won’t mention now.

We set the table every week with
the hungers in our hearts;
spreading out children, jobs, and faith;
chewing over husbands lost and loved;
blessing one another with our listening;
sprinkling salty tears into paper napkins we left
behind for others to throw away;
laughter sweetening every bite.

How many blessings are left
for us to savor after all these many years,
we cannot know;
but my prayer is that we’ll break bread and
chew the fat and celebrate for
many years to come,
our morning worship;
blessing and being blessed;
you taught me to
say grace.

 

 

Author’s Notes: This poem appeared in 2007 in The Best Friend in the World, a gift book published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. It was an honor to be the only poem featured in this lovely little book. My poem appeared on the last page. That’s significant because the last thing you read in a book is what you are most likely to “take away” with you.

I wrote this poem about myself and my friend, Sheila Kale, and everything in the poem is true. I never imagined when I walked into her bookstore, The Closer Walk, that day that I was about to meet the person who would be best friend, confidant, and companion for the next 29 years of my life. Lord, please give us 29 more years together!

 

Sally Clark

Sally Clark

Sally Clark and her husband, Mike, owned the Auslander Restaurant in Fredericksburg, Texas, from 1985 to 2001. Since retirement, Sally has been writing poems like clear pools, the kind where you can see all the way to the mossy rocks on the bottom. She writes about simple things like laundry and yellow highlighters, huge things like the trials of Job and the sins of Abraham, funny things like ice cream and penguins and Halloween, and scary things like heaven and hell and the color of dirt. Her award-winning poetry has been widely published in books, anthologies, magazines, gift books, and online. In 2017, her poem, "Los Compadres," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Sally's first publication for children is "Where's My Hug?" a lift-the-flap board book published by WorthyKids/Ideals. Buy it for a child you love.
Sally Clark

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