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  • Jimmy Broccoli

My Friend Carol

Sometimes using a cliché, like –

“she shined brighter than all of the stars in the sky” is okay,

if you’re pressed for the right words to describe someone incredible –

and you can’t immediately think of better wording

There isn’t always a reason to use new words –

when there are words that already exist for this purpose –

Or – at least that is what I believe at this moment

My friend Carol was a bright and shiny diamond

We marched the streets together, demanding equality –

and her voice was loud –

like a car crash or sudden thunder

I use clichés because I am too sad to be creative today –

I don’t have the emotional strength to be clever

And, for today – they’ll have to do

Her heart was as big as the ocean –

wide and long with compassion that spread for miles

I’d call her – sometimes late at night and say,

“Carol, I just can’t” and she’d tell me I could,

when I’m ready

One starless night, her kindness and friendship led me to return the open bottle of too many pills to the medicine cabinet –

where it belongs – and where it remains

Fast forward seven years…

A Home Depot purchase with hope extinguished - like a glass jar over a small and dying flame or a glass jar covering a butterfly that is suffocating –

because there is no longer any air

and a few hours later,

Carol - my beautiful butterfly friend – lay still -

“Carol!”, I screamed when I got the phone call – it wasn’t Carol calling


Carol’s memorial bench is on the waterfront at Lake Olmstead in Augusta, Georgia –

and I’m visiting her today

All of the benches in the park look exactly the same –

but hers is the most lovely

So, I sit here, and I sit here, and I sit here

And begin to cry

“Carol”, I whisper,

gently and quietly to an empty sky with nobody listening

Photo: Memorial Bench for Carol Taylor

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