Saturday, June 05, 2010

Catching Up

I have been catching up with old classmates on Facebook .. it seems that there have been many deaths among those sharing my graduation decade (the 70's) .. it prompted this ..

Catching up

I remember a time, and it seemed like yesterday
We walked the same halls and sat in the same desks
We were trapped in our lives or so we thought
“When I get out of here, I’m gone.”

It would be several times in the several years after
That we would run into old friends from those days
We would ‘catch up’ will our fellow escapees
And bring everyone up to date on all the news
Of course, then, the news consisted of job information
Or college information, or wedding information
We would see who did finally marry who
And who went to which university as planned

There would be the sad news of the rare death
An accident, or a sudden illness, or other cause

Years would pass in our lives and they took shape
And we would visit the old places on home visits
And there we would see the occasional classmate
And we would ‘catch up’
Now, the news would be about a career
Or we would talk about our children
And we would laugh about the old days
And how we never figured our lives
Would have turned out his way

And, oh yeah, did you hear about Steve’s death
“Oh my, no, please tell me what happened.”

Before you know it, you are getting reunion news
“Has it been that long?”
Familiar haunts, memorable faces, recognizable names
We share; we are well into our careers,
And the kids are growing up so fast
We have built a life somewhere else
But it is great to come home and ‘catch up’
We listen and share stories so common
For all our different paths
We are all so much alike

“Where’s Dave, I didn’t think he would miss a reunion.
No, I hadn’t heard. I am so sorry.”

Out of touch for so many years now
More and more ‘catching up’ is sad news
Those that were once just a handful
Now would fill our old school bus
Or maybe even more than one
Every time you hear a statement
That begins with, “Did you hear about ..”
Your heart flinches just a bit
It could be good news
It could bring elation
More and more though
It is the harbinger of sadness

And yet
Here we are
“Catching up.”

Ron Simpson, Jr.
June 5, 2010

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