Lunches with Joe
By Christopher Bradley
1/17/00 5:48 AM
Dedicated to Joe Cronin

Joe lives a few blocks away
It seems at times that we are worlds apart.
He has a job as a substitute teacher
At a school in Lewiston.

We had lunch today
At a Chinese restaurant
That he introduced me to
A good while ago.

I started having lunch with him
About 4 years ago
And we started remembering
What all of the times
We had lunch when we were six.

Back then we ate Macaroni and Cheese
And watched cable television.
After school we would play table hockey
In his basement.

I remember a time
A very innocent time
When we played with plastic dinosaurs
In his bathtub.

A few years from then
Joe had collected impressions
Of his favorite television personalities
And I was close by to record them
On the tape recorder
That my mother bought for me my birthday.

Joe got Piano lessons because I had them
And I got a keyboard because Joe had one.
We shared keyboard magazines
Every once in a while
In seventh grade.

Joe was living with his father
For most of high school
And I had a very vague Idea
Of where exactly that was until just before I was leaving for college.

A couple of years ago he gave me a hockey card
He had remembered that I had liked John LeClair somehow
From one of those conversations
Over a table of some kind of food.

I don't know how we started seeing each other again for lunch
It was as if three years disappeared in a haze
But now it is nice when he calls
And I get to remember
That I did have one friend who stuck around
Until this very day.

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