my friend frankie
I met Helene Springer, Frankie we all called her, on my first day of work. We worked in a bookstore on Saint-Cathrine Street in Montreal, Quebec. She was a small woman with snow-white hair, walked with her hands behind her back, and knew all the best poetry books (she was a big fan of Mary Oliver). I think the thing I remember most about her was her cheekbones; as high as they were, they did not prevent her eyes from shining as bright as they did whenever she smiled.
Frankie was a true character. She carried the most beautiful energy. You could feel she was in the room without actually seeing her physical self, which still feels the same, even today. She was everyone's guidance on a rainy day. We all thought that with her, we could make it without the sun. Little did I know how important she would become to me over the three years we worked together in that bookstore. Frankie was the person in my life who encouraged me to write and to be the 'writer' I needed to be. She found delight even in the worst of my creations. She was my best friend.
On July 21, 2020, Frankie passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, so I named this creative network 'My Friend Frankie' to continue our creative friendship. I hope to support and encourage writers and artists, just as Frankie did for me. There is no greater feeling in this world than helping others achieve what they dream of being. It is the social responsibility I bear, and I do it wholeheartedly.
-Kelsey Nichole Brooks