Diana van den Berg

(4 November 1945 / Durban, South Africa)

A Few of my Friends

Come sit with me
in this garden bower
in summer shade
and meet some friends
I trust and love.

Well, first on your left is Choice,
in the multi-coloured checked shirt,
a tough-love ally,
who lets me know
I am no slave
to anyone or anything
and that I am as free
as an unborn thought
to choose my own consequences;

and then there is Responsibility,
in black and white,
who has led me
over many sharp pebbles and rocks,
up winding paths on mountains steep –
a long hard hike
with blisters and bleeding feet,
struggling for breath at times,
but oh, the panoramic view
from the mountain top -
of sky and valleys,
plains and hills,
and rivers and cattle grazing
in green, green fields;

and next is Compassion, the sweetie-pie,
in an orange sundress,
a listener, whose hugs
and cups of tea
have softened so many of my days and nights;

and when I have least deserved this friend,
sweet, sweet Grace,
in powder-blue,
has been there for me
with heart smiles
and kind eyes;

and then...
my dearest, closest friend of all,
in sunrise-gold,
against whom I lean
my buzzing head
when the world’s all wrong
and I don’t know why.

They are here today
to offer you
their friendship too
and all they ask
is that you task yourself
with introducing them, their lessons
and each gem
they offer you,
to all you meet
in every street.

(14 February 2011)

Submitted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
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