Always, my friend
The warm muffler of friendship
The kind you put on
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
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
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