Sunday, January 7, 2018

Tracey Brocker A Flower of the Heart

Iris in early spring in my backyard


Flowers of the Heart Fifteen January 7, 2018

For Tracey Brocker

As I age, I make friends more slowly,
sometimes not realizing it has happened.
Often we choose our friends, but sometimes
they choose us. Tracey was cautious
at first. She joined my poetry class. I’d seen 
and said hello to her husband Bill in the
post office, but not met her. She found 
me there, and I welcomed her to join
the class. The other students were
more experienced in writing poems 
in the contemporary way, but she
followed all my suggestions, and
learned from the others, too. She’d
drive to my house in her big truck
and always bring a treat for my dog.
She’d have worked on revisions, and
at the break, I’d let Wag in, and Tracey
would talk to her as if they were old
friends and hold out an especially
delicious treat that made Wag want
to join the poetry class. Her poems
got stronger, and she revealed her feelings
in them more and more. Last summer
I made several unexpected trips to the
Emergency Room of UNC Hospital.
In October Tracey learned ambulances
had been seen in my yard, and she came 
over to investigate. She saw Wag in
the backyard. She called the hospital.
They said I was released. I was in the
waiting room until my daughter
picked me up. Tracey’s concern led me
to put her on my emergency list
and give her my house keys. The next
time I had to go, I called her and 
asked her to feed Wag her supper and
and to give me a ride home. My daughter
had another commitment. Wag is shy,
but she knew Tracey well because of 
those delicious treats and that persuasive 
voice. We got back in time for a snack,
and then it was poetry class time. Tracey
always asks how I’m doing. My little
episodes have gone away or are only 
shadows of their former selves. I don’t
understand what set them off, and neither
do the doctors, but they’re gone now.
Tracey made herself my friend. She lives
in a very different way, in a large house
with extensive grounds. She and Bill
travel the world so he can hunt big game
in Africa and Australia. She always
goes along. They work together on house
improvements, and she manages a large
garden She gives me my own corner
of her life, keeps my list of phone numbers
handy and my house keys. In one day
she made herself my friend.

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