Poem a Day #25
I’m thinking about friendships lately
how some grow
and how others are outgrown
and I wonder
how do you outgrow
Does it just slowly unravel
when you pull on a loose thread?
Do buttons get pushed
until they pop off
at the most embarrassing times?
Does it begin to pinch
like an old pair of shoes
until you are rubbed raw
in tender places?
Or does it just fall apart
like a favorite shirt
washed one too many times?
Susan Taylor Brown
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Great extended metaphor, Susan! This is wonderful. And–I think it can happen any of these ways. Also, I think sometimes, for me, anyway, it can happen because life is so chaotic. You actually kind of forget about that shirt you like that’s been pushed to the back of the drawer, and then when you discover it, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I love this shirt! Can’t believe I haven’t worn it in 6 months!” That’s actually how I feel about lots of my online friends right now:>/
Thank you, Laura.
Yes, the chaos that is our life now is a huge contributor I’m sure. It’s been interesting to sort of mentally wander around my list of friends, both online and in real life, and try to see the threads that tie us together which of course led me to looking at the ones that are unraveling.
A good friend told me once (when I asked her how she managed to maintain so many friendships) is that you need to “touch” each other every so often. It doesn’t have to big or long, but just a touch. So I have been trying to do that and being a bit surprised (both in good and bad ways) and how I am touched (or not) in return.
This is so right on the money, Susan.
Thank you, Anne Marie.
Perfect! Love this one :).
And sometimes there is too much starch in the collar. . .
Thanks, Jama….and ooh, yes, too much starch in the color! And sometimes they shrink and just don’t fit anymore.
I love the way you’ve interwoven friendships with garments. Buttons getting pushed – brilliant.
I love the soft wording in last verse, and the image of a thread unraveling, as many friendships end this way.
Your shoe verse made me think how new friendships can start off shiny and hopeful, but grow quickly uncomfortable, even leaving a blister with the first wearing.
There are many layers in this poem, which makes it one of my favorites of yours. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so very much, Ellie. I think this is one I will continue to play with, to add to. As I posted in response above yours, I was thinking how sometimes they shrink and just don’t fit right anymore.
I think it’s all of the above, depending on the situation.
However, I also think it’s possible that friendships can rub us the wrong way at certain times. Maybe we are stressed to the point where we want to be left alone, and a friend is rubbing us the wrong way (through no fault of his or her own). Maybe the friend who has always given us advice is giving advice that really isn’t wanted at a specific time (say, for example, that your bestie has older kids, and has always given advice, but suddenly you’re in the thick of raising a teenager and the advice “feels” like judgment at times. That sort of thing). I think in instances like that, a friendship that is starting to pinch like a pair of ill-fitting shoes can ultimately fit like a well-worn shirt again.
Good points, Jeni. I know after my divorce I lost some frienships that never came back again and some went through some really rough patches that took years to work through. But one of those is stronger than ever now.
That too! 🙂
Love your metaphors!
I’m thinking of my Race for the Cure t-shirts, collected for what they represent…do I do that with friends, too? hmmm…