Poem of the Week: Once

Patricia Dennis, Santa Clara Branch


We were young girls
holding hands
playing hop scotch
whispering secrets
sneaking into forbidden rooms
trying on the jewels of our mothers
and dressing up in their gowns

With skirts held high above our knees
we would twirl and swirl around
landing only for a brief second
just long enough to strike a saucy pose

With hands on our hips we would wiggle our derrières
Then turn around tilting our heads this way and that
Puckering our lips and blowing silent kisses

We’ll never be old! We would cry
Always young at heart and
meeting adventures head on
We gave nary a thought of what lay beyond

Years later, children grown, husbands gone, I see you again

We cry in unison, Where have you been!

Our minds flicker to when we stopped trying to stay in touch
when other needs and wants filled the space.

A silent prayer of gratitude for here we are again.

No longer youthful, no longer slim. The years have added wisdom to our faces.

Giggling and laughing we take a moment (to) step back in time
pause and remember those years of innocence
It seems just like yesterday
we were those two young girls
prancing unsteadily in mother’s high heels
and playing make believe

A long heartfelt embrace and a vow: to not let time separate
friends of the heart. Distance and time should never tear apart.



  1. Lennie Lund says:

    So wise, So perfect! I have one very special friend, now long-distance, for over 30 years. We talk every six months or so and it is always just as it was when we lived nearby and saw each other nearly every day. Our hearts truly keep us connected and we can’t wait for our next luncheon date. Those were our best times with all the giggles and sometimes tears!!

    Patricia, you too are a dear friend. Thank you for being so expressive and sharing your poem.

  2. G.o. says:

    This really hit home. Time does come between friends as we grow older, but with memories abundant, love keeps you close in friendship.

  3. Pat Setser says:

    Just read the poem after spending a weekend at Hilton Head with an old friend. She hugged me tight and when we parted, she promised it would not be so many years before we meet again. Though we did not meet until our late teens, we do appear to be connected though many years pass between our visits.
    The last paragraph of this poem said it all. Thank you for writing this appropriate poem.

  4. Brenda Layman says:

    Patricia, your poem took me back to my own childhood! I like the way time between the young girls and the older women collapses in the moment when they meet again.

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