Christmas Cards

After student friendships grew
with students coming to my
home city then returning home
for careers, more scattered
friendships built up around
my changing homes and jobs.

Now as we contacted each other
by card and phone at Christmas
the year caught up in the
crises of our later years.

A stroke struck friend who
rang me after her husband’s
death rang again for Christmas.
She couldn’t write cards this year.

Lupus and arthritis limit a
friend who with their daughter
put her husband of fifty years
into care.  She could not keep
him or herself safe. She rang.
She couldn’t write cards this year.

Third onset cancer killed a friend
who only wanted close family nearby.
She couldn’t write cards this year.
Her husband later replied to
cards sent by unknowing friends.

One friend lean and fit always
eating healthy suffered a stroke
at work where they called for help.
She wrote her cards this year.

Christmas Cards