When I heard
It was as if an internal hole opened and
Everything drained out
I asked the typical When? How?
Mere programmed reflexes
Because I was

And the one word answer to
Apparently everything hadn’t drained before
Because more flowed – emptied

Working in the same place allowed us to
Become friends
We’d see each other regularly
Discuss books, adult children, life – and it’s struggles, faith
Pray and praise together over all of it
You joined us for Passover
We joined you for brunch
Proximity bred relationship and we were never

Job change took me elsewhere and we
Became great acquaintances
During events we both attended
We were fully present, engaging one another,
Catching up, trading heartfelt hugs
In between neither pursued deep connection
Our relationship waned
The lengthening intervals

Now visceral questions swell
Growing out of emotions, faith
Inability to act or remedy the past
The inevitable self-accusatory
Could I have done more?
Likely intensifies as the
Circle of those who love(d) you
Narrows from periphery towards center
And still How?
I can’t ask you now, only
The Word in Whom you so tenaciously hope(d)*
Who promises no test or temptation beyond bearing**
But I simply groan***


*John 1:1-5, 14
**1 Corinthians 10:13
***Romans 8:26