You always had friends, she says
But it makes me sad.
People love her.
Why doesn’t she have friends?
It’s not, as she attributes it, extroversion
Introverts make friends all the time.
I think it has more to do with forgiveness.
She can’t forgive a slight
imagined or otherwise.
When you imagine the best of people
You’re usually right.
When you imagine the worst of people
You’re usually right.
I can’t change her outlook.
I can’t teach her to forgive.
But if she can learn to forgive herself
She might learn to forgive others.
If she can learn to forgive others
She might be able to keep a friend.
Making friends is easy.
Keeping friends is hard.
I’ve won countless friends.
I have lost more friends than I’ve ever kept.
Some of them
For whatever reason
Maybe they’re capable of forgiving my countless unconscious cruelties
My rough treatment
Maybe they consider what I can give
to be worth what I take.
Maybe they’re able to accept my forgiveness
for the things they think they’ve done.
My friendships have been tried.
So many times
I don’t know what happened
but I lose them anyway.
I follow them until I realize
They’re not looking back at me.
This too, I must forgive.
For how I must have hurt them
Though I don’t know what it was.
Maybe no one did anything wrong.
Maybe it’s just nature
People come and go
Friendships rise and fall
with the changing tides.
Maybe I need more flexibility.
This is why I consider a friendship that sticks
Has bonded us together
I refuse to let fall by the wayside.
Fight, drama, damage, conflict in values
I never considered myself loyal.
Loyalty always implied to me
That I would take their side no matter what.
That’s not what I do.
I consider rights and wrongs
According to my own ethics.
I try to make peace
Between them and their enemies
it’s the forgiveness thing again.
But I do love them no matter what.
Maybe that’s what loyalty really is.
Look at how good I make myself sound.
Somewhere in here is a lie
Somewhere in here is denial
That’s what it is to be human
We tell stories
We tell lies
even to ourselves.
I am not seeing something.
Maybe by love I am enacting hate,
My loyalty is fickleness,
My ethics are cold,
And my forgiveness is judgment.