On Friendship [double-sonnet]

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Friends' Hands

There’s nothing more unsettling than to find —
when setting out on virgin paths untrod —
that many friends you thought were right behind,
and moving with you, were a patent fraud.

They said they’d always watch your fragile back
and stand with you when life got deadly tough —
protect you from irrational attacks;
but in the end their words were just a bluff.

And so you learned your lesson well that “friends”
can be your enemies who haven’t yet
revealed themselves. In shock one comprehends
they’ll leave you in the lurch without regret.

For every faithful friend you have in life
a dozen more plunge in your back their knife.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

True friends are those who are content to let
you be yourself. For then your soul can grow
in liberty. Their love for you will show
if, when you’re free, they find it not a threat.

I fear that friendship true is on the wane
as narcissism now holds such wide sway.
Betrayal over honour rules the day;
for people now use others, in the main.

Thus, if I try to count true friends on hands,
(well, fingers should I say, to be precise?)
I could not tweak my digits more than thrice.
Why not as much as grains of desert sands?

Behind all this, the truth is starkly shown:
That in this life we’re mostly on our own.

 

© Alan Morrison, 2019

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