Poem Portal #10: Bridge

holding handsI am happy to say I have had childhood friendships that have lasted into adulthood, namely my friend Brianna whom I met in grade 3 and who became my roommate when I left Prince George; and my friend Shannon whom I met in grade 8, who came to my wedding and who still visits when I’m in PG.

However there were two other young friendships which taught me how people change and drift apart.  In both cases, I rather felt like the friend who stayed still whilst the drifting was done to me.  I was a kid who got emotionally invested in friends, and took it hard when they didn’t commit to me long-term.

Strangely my future was not to hold such trials with romantic partners: the only man I fell in love with married me.  All I can really claim for heartbreak is that L stopped playing with me when I was 12, and E stopped hanging out with me when I was 14 (not that I think either of them read my blog; but why use names when there are no more hard feelings?)

trampolineThis poem portal is about L.  She started as a friend of convenience, because she lived across the street from me and had a trampoline.  Soon, one of us going to the other’s house was an almost daily occurrence.  We invited each other to weekend events, played with her younger twin brothers or my younger sisters; we put up with her older brother and her dad (who liked to tell us things like “the word ‘woman’ is just ‘man’ with a ‘womb’ in front of it”).friendship bracelet

For a few golden Elementary years, L felt irreversibly woven into my life.  She unravelled gradually, with fewer and fewer visits; no more explanation than “I don’t really want to” when I invited her to things like swimming and board games.  I sometimes saw her while I was walking home from school; usually she was with a girl I didn’t know.  One of these times, I ran up to her and forced a Christmas present into her hands.  I got no comment from L herself, but the girl she was with called after me as I dashed off again: “I like the wrapping, kid.”  This confused me at the time, because we were all the same age.  Looking back, I think it was a heavy hint that I was no longer welcome because I wasn’t growing up fast enough.

I got a much clearer hint from my estranged friend’s big brother another time that I was walking home from school.  He stuck his head out the window as I was passing and said: “Jennifer, L doesn’t like you anymore.”

What was there for a sappy, optimistic introvert like me to do but go home and write a song about how L and I would still make things work?  I did this, along with no further attempts whatsoever to enact the sentiment:

flipfop feetflipfop feetOn this bridge we’re standing on opposite ends,

If we can’t even compromise, how can we be friends?

I’m not asking you to change completely,

Let’s just talk it out and solve it concretely.


Chorus: If one goes to the other side, it really isn’t fair.bridge

But if we stay just as we are,

We won’t get anywhere.

So come what may, I’ll go walking today,

And I’ll meet you on the bridge halfway.


If we once held any grudges, our silence is wrong,

This river of friendship can still flow strong,

Not if we leave it to foam too long,

How am I to know what is troubling you,

If you can’t clue me in on what I could do?

Chorus: bridge 

This bridge here between us could crumble any day,

But if we stood side by side, I’m sure that bridge would stay,

Apart like this, our bridge is weakening fast,

Let’s get together, we can make that bridge last.

Chorus: bridge  

The bridge that keeps us going, 

And the river ‘neath it flowing,  

This bridge has to be crossed someday,

Before time has all but flown away,

So come what may, I’ll go walking today…

I hope to meet you on the bridge halfway—–.

                                                  flipfop feetflipfop feet

By jcmlott

Poem Portal #9: Bouncing Balls

soccer ballEveryone has their major whining point in high school, right?  The grievance that no amount of melodramatic poetry can satisfy?  You look back years later and wonder why you didn’t find a wider variety of things to angst about…I do anyway.  Christmas-Bells-2Basically 90% of the songs I wrote in high school were about how much I hated Phys Ed.  Did I have unrequited crushes, bullies, embarrassing puberty experiences?  I guess not.  Not enough to warrant a poem.  My hatred for gym class came out in many poems and most of them had tunes.  The following is to the tune of Jingle Bells:


Chorus: Oh!  Bouncing balls, bouncing balls,

Bounce them all the way!

Throw them which and every way

And kick your life away!  Hey!

Bumping balls, punching balls,

Shoot, save, slap and hit!

Oh what fun to bounce around

This dead-dull useless pit! 

Verse 1: Balls bouncing off my head,volleyball

 Bruising my arms red,

Ore the court we go, reflexes going dead!

Fingers bending back,

Mood rings turning black,

Oh what fun to bump along

This dreadful volley track!

Chorus:   bouncing_ballsoccer ballsoccer ballbouncing_ball

Verse 2: Balls punching through my mitt,softball

Bat missing every hit,

Ore the field we go, the sun too brightly lit!

Caught before first base,

Sweat drenching my face,

Oh what fun to pant along

This hard-yet-Softball race!