Poem of the Week: That Kind of Friends

Rachael Ikins Central NY Branch

Only you showed up 3 days in a row last September a year ago.
The heat, the 3 flights of stairs, weight,
furniture we lifted imprinted on our backs
arms, legs, my heart.

You unpacked the contents for my kitchen.
Lined spice bottles and glasses and a cupboard rowed with mugs, plates for sandwiches and dinners.
You are that kind of friend.
Who used topless Tupperware containers to catalogue the cocoa, teas and baking supplies, filed in easy-to-find groups.

A friend whose sentences I can finish
because, you explain, you’re “an artist, not good with words,” but my paint is language. You tell me I “always know
just the right thing to say.”

Almost a year after that September weekend when I ended up  in the emergency room with a-fib, my heart fluttering like a sparrow that battered itself against garage windows blind to the open door, we head east on the freeway in your Jeep.  Today I email you,

“Where do you think my egg cups are?”
I don’t expect you to remember–
many months, your own life. I eat eggs for the protein to help with my meds,
forgot I had cups until this morning. Painted Easter-egg style with legs and big floppy shoes.

“They aren’t on the shelves with the mugs,” your reply. “Look on a shelf for oddities, lid to the juicer, leaf-shaped nut bowls, a single Russian tea glass– use your step stool.” After supper I climb up.

There they are, the only two that remain
from a 20 year old
set. That kind of friends.


  1. Thank you, Rachel, for this intimate depiction of a long-lasting bond. And what a special touch, with the double entendre at the end. Lovely.

  2. mmm. Felt it to my core.

  3. Judi MacLean says:

    Beautiful.For every woman I wish a friend like that!

  4. What a wonderful peek inside a friendship with such rich details that everyone can relate to- Loved this poem! Would love to read more of your work!

    • Thank you so much. You can find my work on Amazon depending on how much of it you’d like to see. I just released a book called “Totems” that is fantasy but is my first illustrated book and has poems as chapter headers–including some that appeared in the Pen Woman. My 5th chapbook God Considered the Horizon is there too, as well as an eBook Jones Road Chronicles. I am so happy readers are enjoying this poem. Thanks for taking time to comment

  5. Brenda Layman says:

    Lovely! I especially like the images of the heart fluttering like a bewildered bird and that of climbing the stepstool to find the egg cups. I enjoyed this poem very much.

  6. Lovely poem. Just lovely

  7. Carole Mertz says:

    This poem celebrates such a deeply-felt friendship. I loved it.