You used to eat everything with your fingers.
It grossed me out,
and now it is one of the things I remember most about you.
I’ve often thought, since you’ve been gone,
that your inner rebel led you everywhere
with no heed for how you ended up.
I hated her and loved her at the same time.
She was hard and dangerous and mean.
She was funny, adventurous and loyal.
I never knew if we became friends because you liked me,
or because your rebel recognized that no one else did.
That day in the hallway of my new reservation high school,
I was caught in transition, so lost I could barely speak,
and you stepped up, told your friend to leave me alone,
after she started lobbing insults my way from her comfortable spot on the rez, in her school, surrounded by her buddies.
Maybe you did that because you felt bad for me
or maybe you did it simply because no one thought you would.
I didn’t care, I was glad to be left alone.
You still didn’t speak to me for a year after that.
And then for two years you almost killed me every other day
with your promise to be my friend forever.
That night we left Montana….
the biggest thunderstorm I’d ever seen slashed lightning across the sky,
exposing miles of prairie in brilliant flashes
surrounding our tiny car pulled over into a ditch.
The hail pelted the windshield
and as we raced to cover it with a blanket
For a moment, after that clap of thunder that was so loud I felt it in my rain soaked bones,
we looked across at each other’s young faces
and each of us felt strong enough to leave,
to weather the storm.
The day I heard you died,
I sat in the glare of the August sun
sobbing while my husband cut my hair.
That inner rebel, with her natural tendency to resist
took you places you could never come back from
and I miss hearing you laugh.
This is my submission for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night 114, a place where poetry is shared and enjoyed by people from all over the world! Stop by and submit or read!