isn’t it always the way?

this morning
with no makeup on
hair that needed a hat
and in my sloppiest old sweatsuit
and rattiest running shoes
i bumped into an old friend.
a wizened old friend
from my childhood
who was by my side on so many adventures
and who, without uttering a single word,
taught me so much
(even though i didn’t realize it
until just now) . . .

my still-sharp old friend
always knew
that sometimes i need to
make my mark
even if only by
carving my initials
in a tree
in the middle
of the woods.

my still-sharp old friend
always knew
that quite often
you have to
whittle away the unnecessary parts
to reveal the essential, unique, irreplaceable

my wizened old friend
always knew
that you can’t receive the nourishment
if you never open the can
it’s just not healthy
to keep things
bottled up
for too long.

my wizened old friend
always knew
that encountering a
rough, uncomfortable
whetting stone
keeps you sharp
that you have to
take good care of yourself
if you want to enjoy
a long, useful, active

my wizened old friend
always knew
that sometimes
things need to be cut
to clear the path
build the fire
open up the view.
that sometimes
pruning is necessary
to promote new

my still-sharp
trusty old friend
knew these things all along
even if i didn’t.

until now.


(allow me to introduce my wizened, still-sharp old friend)

this post is my response to today’s reverb10 prompt:
Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

today’s tip: “make new friends and keep the old/some are silver and the other gold” were the words we sang at every girl scout meeting, and they’re just as apt now as they were then. with over 3000 people involved (which means so many windows open and twitter running in the background and all this on top of your already busy, busy life), it’s easy to lose your way back to new reverb10 friends. if you haven’t already, set aside some time and create an A List of the friends you don’t ever want to lose track of – be they new friends or old, familiar friends. and hey, if you already have your A List, be sure to add your new reverb10 friends to it as you go along.

i offer this tip as a suggestion you might find useful in juicing every single succulent drop out of this month-long experience. tomorrow (or the next day) i’ll fold into the marrow. and hey, if this tip sparks an idea, i’d sure appreciate it if you’d drop me a note in the comments section so i can sprinkle it out to others. and do some sprinkling of your own: point others to the marrow in case there’s something they can use.


  1. Kipp


    (That’s all. Just ‘yes.’)

    • whollyjeanne

      i seriously flat-out love you, my manchild.

  2. Brad Morrison


  3. AnnMarie

    Completely and utterly wonderful!

  4. Angela

    Perfect. xoxo

  5. Mrsmediocrity

    your old friend is pretty darn sharp.your writing continues to amaze me.

    • whollyjeanne

      coming from you, sugar, this is REALLY a compliment to warm my heart. thank you.

  6. Dr Dolly (@drdolly)

    What’s a gal to do without her trusty knife? LOVE this clever poem–had me going until the photo reveal. The A-List suggestion…brilliant. So need to do that…STAT!

    • whollyjeanne

      glad you were surprised. (i was surprised to run into this old friend!)

  7. Shannon

    I just had to read this over and over. I love it!

    • whollyjeanne

      thanks, shannon. glad you stopped by.

  8. I Write

    I loved your poem and the delightful surprise at the end. Never expected it. Awesome!

    • whollyjeanne

      sugar, i visited your place last night, so i know that it was no small feat for you to leave this comment. thank you.

  9. Julie Jordan Scott

    tee hee hee hee. I am glad we have those friends we adore who are not necessarily human. My friend this year, my wise friend, was a tree.

    Gotta love it!

    Kindred Reverbers!

    • whollyjeanne

      oh. trees are wise. and knowing you, my prolifically creative friend, i’m not at all surprised to hear that you call one friend.

  10. Emily

    I think this poem will stay with me for a while. I love the visual imagery that was conjured up (I knew it was a knife about halfway through, but just ’cause I wasn’t surprised doesn’t mean it has any less of an impact!) Lovely response to a tough prompt (at least, for me).

    • whollyjeanne

      thanks for the specific feedback, emily. i appreciate you taking the time.

  11. Sukhraj Beasla

    Wow! This is great! I love how you wrote that and I didn’t see the ending coming. Friends don’t have to be human; they can be anything that makes you who you are. Thanks for that perspective. You gave me a lot to think about. 🙂

    • whollyjeanne

      i love the way you define friends as “anything that makes you who you are.”

  12. KjM

    Oh, that was good. A lot of wisdom packed into this poem – and the reveal at the end was perfect and set all that went before in context.

    Thank you for this.

    • whollyjeanne

      and thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

  13. Anonymous

    Love. Love. Love.

  14. Brooke Farmer

    I loved this. Both before and after the photo.

  15. Lori

    Yummy yummy!! I am so glad that I discovered your blog through reverb 10!! Your are a gifted and gorgeous writer and I am looking forward to reading some past posts!

  16. Kamana

    i am so glad i clicked on the link to here from mrs mediocrity. LOVE your writing. i am off for a wander around and read some more 🙂

  17. Square-Peg Karen

    Jeanne! I was so surprised at the ending — love, love, love this! And “make new friends but keep the old” – the tune is now running thru my brain – I remember singing that 1,000 times in Brownies and Girl Scouts!

    What a wonderful idea – to make a list of the reverb friends we don’t want to lose touch with. Love to YOU – I sure wouldn’t want to lose track of you!!

  18. Dian Reid

    brilliant. one of my favoritest of your beautiful posts, m’dear =)

  19. Susan Rountree

    the poem is beautiful, and as I read it I thought about my dearest old friend and you have described her exactly. She is as sharp as your trusty rusty tool. I will share it with her.

    • whollyjeanne

      thank you, susan. lucky you. lucky her.

Pull up a chair why don't you, and let's talk . . .

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Where in the world is The 70273 Project? Please add a pin to show us where you are in the world. (1) Click the + sign in upper righthand corner of map. (2) Enter your first name only. (3) Enter your city/state. (4) Using the pins at the bottom of the map, select a marker based on how you are involved. (5) Select preview to see before posting. (6) Select submit to post. Please add a marker for each role you serve in The 70273 Project.

Support The 70273 Project

Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

special delivery: get blog posts hot off the press


© 2024 Jeanne Hewell-Chambers’ Barefoot Heart

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑