Amber Steenbock

May 1, 1977 - December 17, 2014

To a Friend Named Jack

You came with the rain.
It's strange, but that's what I remember most;
and when I look back now, it's with a sense
of delicious irony, to know that such bright warmth
was born in the midst
of that shivery, damp darkness, months ago.
(It's funny that I haven't minded the rain so much since then.) 

You were one of the People in Motion;
(though you had a different name then)
you, Matt, C.W., Kari, Jeff, Joey, and Jessica.
Sometimes, I only watched all of you,
but you often swept me with you.
Well, actually, that's not quite accurate.
In truth, I pulled you.
Yes sir, a good, strong jump rope,
some roller skates,
and the power of my wheelchair batteries
were all we needed for a high speed "train ride,"
which was better than a roller coaster
because I got to steer.
You always argued over who got the end spot,
the most exciting and dangerous.
Single file, we sped down the sidewalk, singing
at the top of our lungs,
our voices wavering when we hit the cracks.
Parents would smile through their worry.
Often, we traveled this way to school.

School. Sometimes, the seriousness
tickled us so much that we just HAD to laugh.
Apparently, however, our teachers weren't as ticklish,
and grew less so as we began to grow taller
and studied
things like Modern English
and Princes and Queens Throughout the Ages.
I began to have to look upward to see the smile
in your blue-green eyes.
You now have to bend a little for a hug.

You've helped me master the arts
of laughing helplessly while dining out
without getting food on myself,
melting with you into a crowd,
seeing myself as I wish to be seen,
seeing others as they are,
and dancing.

But, come the day
when remembering will have to do,
I know I'll treasure the laughter,
mixed with other types of music,
most of all. 

Jack, when you have to leave,
go with a smile.
And please,
don't leave
in the rain.


Copyright © 1995-2014 Amber Steenbock
Copyright © 2015 Daniel P. Stasinski and Contributors
Contributed content used with permission.
Additional content used with attribution.