’m writing this poem on the birthday of a friend. She knows who she is so I don’t have to pretend. It’s one of those things that you can’t say enough: “Thanks for being there; I’m sorry it’s been rough.”

I’m writing this poem for someone in particular. If the words speak to you, then that’s . . . specticular? (I hope you’ll forgive a few bad rhymes. You have to admit, it’s not the worst of crimes.)

So here then, m’friend, is the verse I penned for you. If these lines strike a chord, guess you’re stuck with me like glue. If you can overlook my flaws, I’m sure we’ll be all right; we can survive most foofaraws, but whatever you do — never EVER give me an asterisk after Midnight!!!

(Y’know, like “Gremlins”?)

(Okay, my sons didn’t get it either. “Why an asterisk?” one asked. Well, I could have said a pineapple, but an asterisk seemed more appropriate.)

(It’s a writer thing.)


As a leaf needs sun

A river needs to flow

As a farmer needs a seed

The rain helps it grow

As waves need the shore

And stars need to shine

As friends need each other

I’m glad you’re mine


The title isn’t long

Or very complicated

It won’t be guaranteed

Just because it’s stated

It’s nothing to ignore

And nothing to forget

It takes cooperation

A quantity of sweat


It’s easily declared

Much harder to be meant

The vow can be as strong

As a handshake or cement

It’s not defined by wealth

By gaudy great rewards

Small favors will suffice

To weather life’s worst storms


Its meaning can be shallow

Or deeper than the sea

Its bond cannot be broken

Without some treachery

Yet a true friend will be present

In joy or bleak despair

The sole requirement

Is honestly to care


As light needs dark and high needs low

Real friends complete each other so

Whether opposite or much the same

Whether kin through suffering or by name

Whether hanging on or holding back

Whether tears are shared, a simple laugh

It’s universal as the wind

Everybody needs a friend.

~ Published ~
February 16, 2010

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