Poem 162 – To Chris & Anna

I knew you once. At school.
We played, imagined worlds,
Rolled dice and conquered dragons.
We learnt. Shared desks. Since then
We’ve met just once. A brief
Collision, passing by.

We’ve kept in touch, sort of.
We’ve watched each other’s feeds.
Smiled and commented at
Feasts and family gatherings
Matched faces.

I’ve shivered at the sea,
From safe behind my screen.
Watched you crash right in.
Tell me, just how do you
Take your shots without
Sinking? And grin without
Taking in the ocean?

Then, this pattern was
Disturbed. A jolt of memory.
Another face unseen for years.
Decades. And yet, the name
Was waiting to be spoken.
I knew you once. At school.

Do you remember the gossip?
The playground pointing?
Classroom chatter?
‘So and so fancies so and so.’
Watching, that forgotten,
Adolescent urge returns.
I turn to tell my classmates
Only they’re not here.
Perhaps somewhere they do
The same behind their screens.

It’s been an odd few years.
For most, years to forget.
But not for you.
Your joy has brought us joy
Peeled back the passing years.
Your simple post, ‘One week
to go’ elicited
Our keyboard cheers, and so
I raise a virtual glass.

Perhaps one day we’ll meet
Again; for now, a toast.
I break this virtual wall
To type, ‘To Chris and Anna!’
I knew you once. At school.

This was written in celebration of two old school friends who I discovered via social media are imminently getting married. Chris enjoys swimming in the sea in all weathers, something I can barely imagine in the heat of summer! Poem posted with their permission.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

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