I Carry With Me

For Shane (1980-2012)


I carry with me

your love of God and country,

Lonesome Dove, and Susie Q,

the cauliflower ears you hated

I thought were cute;

your Incredible Hulk sense of invincibility,

through you, an understanding of faith,

your compassionate conservatism

vs. my flaming liberal debates.


I carry with me

Beatty Towers, Mardi Gras, Big Sky Country and the Keys

eight stitches from snowboarding the double diamond,

and learning how to ski,

cliff jumping, shooting a gun, half-nelsons,

things I never thought I’d do,

playing Risk until dawn, keg parties, rugby games,

quiet moments too.


I carry with me

your jealousies

and my insecurities,

promises we could never keep,

all our firsts and every fight,

the tumultuous three years

we whittled away our baby fat

and dissected past and future lives.


I carry with me

the tremor of your mother’s voice on the phone;

the mourning of your brothers, each in his own way;

your father, gracious in his sorrow, persevering still;

the many people whose lives you’ve touched;

the husband and father you’ll never have the chance to be—

this tragedy.


I carry with me

my regret,

I thought my heart couldn’t bear to be your friend

I should have tried.

Forgive me.


I’ll be the keeper of our memories,

I’ll see you in my dreams.

Rest in peace, my dear friend

I carry you with me.

4 thoughts on “I Carry With Me

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