Sat on a park bench like bookends
A newspaper blowin’ through the grass
falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends
There we sat on the third-floor balcony of her vacation home.
My old friend and I reconnecting after all these years.
Who knows why we lost touch? It happens.
My habit of pushing others away takes a toll sometimes.
And the busyness of life and distance challenges the connection.
Winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends
Happy to be in each other’s company
Reminiscing about days gone by
Crazy days of our haphazard youth
And the harsh realities of what happened between then and now.
Can you imagine us years from today?
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy
Not seventy quite yet
But wondering about time – our time
And how to keep moving forward
Through the adversities of life and living
Knowing that our shared experiences mattered.
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear
What will become of us?
What will time cast upon us?
We wonder together what life has in store
And how the ending of our story will be written.
A time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Our youth was crazy and carefree
Living life as only you can when you’re young
Anything in the name of fun
Dangerously daring fate.
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
But here we are
Well beyond all grown up
Questioning the choices we made
Glad for the experiences we had
And the friendship we shared
Laughing over photographs
When we were wild and crazy kids.
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left.
But now when the future is fuzzy
And we look at the years in the rear-view mirror
I’m happy that we shared
A common youth
That you know things about me and I you
Only we can know
I’m so thankful for you in my life
Then and now and forever
My old friend; my bookend
Copyright Paul Simon