Traveling Together

Julene Tripp Weaver
Her and I barely know each other
but we do the same work—we commiserate 
on the phone—two seasoned social workers
we supply each other relief from the stress 
of situations out of control
battling an impossible job.

So wonderful to pick up the phone and it is her on the other end. Even though I know she calls about a difficult client situation, with her I am honest, able to joke about the screwed up system. A fresh breeze blows though my brain. Imagine my surprise, when she invites me to travel to England. My dreams soar in hearty joy when she says what a great travel mate I would be, and indeed, we would travel well together. But, timing is everything and distraction is my downfall. Committed to the stability of my ongoing pressurized life with its planned vacations eked out over the balance of the year. Oh the regret I cannot pick up and go fancy free as I would love. But she and I know time is marching on with much to do.

Next year, yes next year we dream, let us plan to do London and meld ourselves into Shakespeare. Ten days, with a weekend to Paris on the underground rail. Plays, museums, dinners in Indian restaurants. And spring, the most glorious time of the year. We’ll dine at street vendors; eat pretzels and kebabs. We’ll laugh at men who want to lure us into pubs, and on the rail we’ll sit close, you'll recount to me again your train trip from Italy where two tattoo artists on the way to a tattoo convention, working their way through Europe giving tattoos, told you tales, how they sat next to doctors and brain surgeons, discussing the similarities of their work. Alas, these same tattoo artists will sit across from us and bumble into our conversation with laughter, because here they are again, London to Paris this time heading back to Italy.   

Julene Tripp Weaver, has a therapy practice in Seattle. Her books are: No Father Can Save Her, and Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues, with writing from her work through the heart of the AIDS epidemic. Garrison Keillor featured a poem from this collection on The Writer’s Almanac, and in his anthology, Good Poems American Places. She is published in many journals, including: Anti-Heroin Chic, Gertrude, Cliterature, Menacing Hedge, Drash, Main Street Rag, Pilgrimage, Red Headed Stepchild Magazine, The Far Field, and HIV Here & Now. Find more of her work at and @trippweavepoet.

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