Always, my Friend


Always, my friend

The warm muffler of friendship

The kind you put on

Without thinking

before going out into the cold air

of mere acquaintance

the scent of many walks, many talks

The Swallows and Amazons hide-out

Safe from stalkers

Camouflaged from the inquisitive

 A place for after the apocalypse

The tenderness amongst the elements

The uncrazy point in the kaleidoscope

Where nothing changes except the seasons

And a word given is never ungiven

Where there is nothing unforgiven

That special seat in your favourite bar

The thoughts

who know who you are

The words that don’t need to be spoken

Because there are no cracks in the pavement

No promises broken

No potholes in the road

The one-eyed teddy

The veteran of childhood

The record with your past scratched into it

The tree house safe from the for-sale sign

The car that always starts

And drives without question

Even after the crash

The arm on the shoulder

When the shoulder is shaking

Time given

Rather than taken.

This is the nest without cuckoos

The place of rest

The church door that is never closed

A friendship that is never tested

Because there is no cross examination.

Where the beginning

Is also the end.

Always, my friend.

For Howard, and friends everywhere.

Words and Voice Roy Stannard / Music Matt Staples (‘One and Only’) 1.2.20

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