his own person

me and Wendell

lithely, limberly he walks
the room’s perimeter,
as cattily as any feline—
his purpose a mixture
of prowling and patrolling,
of watching out
for trouble
and looking to get
into it

embodying the fullness
of the qualities of his
kind, Wendell is, yet,
irrefutably,
wholly himself,
his own person:
reserved and reticent,
but playful and ornery

deep in some
perverse corner of my mind had
lurked the silent expectation that
he might take the place of
my old friend whose
gregarious and
affectionate nature
had been my daily comfort,
whose gentle breathing
at my side lulled me
to sleep in the evening,
who, I think, saw himself
as my caretaker, and whose
absence had become a
bottomless chasm
in the peace of our home

instead,
he has revealed only
the pretension of such
wayward thoughts, as

that place belonged to Hauerwas, and,
though that chasm aches and yawns,
it will always belong to him, for
Hauerwas was his own person, too

and he was too good of a friend
to have that taken from him
he deserves better and,
as Lewis said,
“manna, kept, is worms”

it is far better,
more Godlike,
to miss the one
and to know the other
and let each of us be
his own person

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