I never knew him in the early days

days of sixteen

maybe it was the difference in age and 

he was my brother’s friend

I never knew him then..... but

I knew of him

he always took after some statue

maybe David and 

he had this spirit you see

this spirit that spoke

with an awkward voice

yeah, I'd seen him in home movies

I'd heard the half staff impersonations

that spirt had to be offset

by something I suppose

he was captain of the ski team

time and life went by

then I met him one year

twenty six 

home for Christmas

he spoke

and I spoke

I understood

his wife all in curls

taught me party tricks

he was a sky pilot

a few more years

twenty nine

they fly by

our friend Roy

marrying late fall

we spent the weekend in a warm cabin

we talked much

he didn't sweat the small teardrops of life

only those grand diamonds

the ones that matter

I kept catching him

looking at me


when his wife was in the room

she still had those curls

the following day ceremony

on the edge of November Appalachians

it was misty morning

but the sun cut through

just long enough for the kiss

some people don't believe in God

it was Saturday


and we're all breakfast

at the Biscuit Barn

country fried steak no eggs

it was good and 

we hugged and said goodbye

it was good

two more years thirty one

Roy calls me in the morning "Jesse"?

he knows who he's calling

and I know right off

somethings wrong 


Shane was in an accident

skiing with the ski team


the boat turned wide

there was a dock……waiting

he never knew what he hit

Roy's voice broke 

for the first time

and the phone hung up with no bye

like in those terrible movies

I just pictured him

his spirit

hovering straight faced

above the water


following an upright bow ear to ear

and now on 

to peace


some people believe in God

the service was quiet and heavy

I didn't hear anyone speak

except for his wife

curls and all

I kept catching her looking at me

her husband was in the room  

his name was Shane.....

he was a friend of mine

Jason Avera is a writer living in California.

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