He was always there


He was always there
His friendship could not be bought,
as little as you can buy fresh air.
He survived everything like a tree over the years
He upheld the fog, the flickering of the sun,
and the long nights in his branches.
He would call late and ask, how are you?
without saying his name.
His reassuring voice would whisper like the wind:
Calm down, do not worry, everything will be fine
He could feel my tiredness, my worries
and my pain without me having to tell.
He was ill for years, but I only thought about myself,
my own difficulties and my own loss.
He had known about “in vain”, became unable
to work or devote time for personal friendship
He could only just carry the night, the fog
and the long-lasting rain, which he wore
like a dark heavy cloak, in utter silence.
Then I waited in vain for his call
and wondered about his quiet way of dying.
People who walked with him
never noticed his illness. Why
bother about the crown and the roots
of others? He was there, the tall stem, his hands
the protective branches
Everything was still there.
All that we remembered,
the beauty of a colourful autumn
and the possibility of a new spring.
Nobody knew he was losing blood.
His amber skin still looked healthy enough,
but the resin slowly dripped from the cracked tree bark.
Only the paper-thin skin of his hands
showed signs of an increasing transparency
compared to that of a young birch tree in spring
On delicate easy-to-find branches nestle the young birds,
ready for an easy featherless escape.
I often flew away from him, uninterested, carelessly.
I never found out the cause of his illness,
a man still young in the tangle of his thought.
Threatened by storms, he still resisted,
his roots, however, slowly narrowed.
The breathlessness of his heart was a result
of not being understood for years.
His ability to maintain friendships
was as unsuccessful as clinging to life with dying roots.
But he tried, in the rush and hush of the world,
in spite of more and more restrictions.
His friends expected this or that from him.
They took advantage, even though
they pretended that they loved him.
But I saw no hope for him anymore.
So many others died around him
Each one involved with their own battle,
sucked deep into a war of venules and capillaries
and unsuccessful exchanges of intracellular fluids
underneath the increasing moss.
A tree needs effective veins to pump its sap
deep into the hidden network of roots and ramification.
Our friendship died in the lack of this attempt.
The fear of losing narrowed his heart.
If you cut out the crown, split the trunk and cut off branches, then
a tree will not survive.
But why think about trees, but not talk about a human being, a dying man?
Sometimes I wanted to have been there, when he gave up,
before his irrevocable fall, that made him disappear, to wherever.
But then again, I wanted to see him fall like a man, witness
his courage until his last breath.

© Yutka 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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a very sincere and vivid poem – thanks for sharing.

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