The Forever Friend
So often I have wildly missed the mark,
And dialed down the volume on God’s voice.
I’ve seen another soul and made the choice
To hide, until he passes, in the dark.
But you left no dark place for me to hide.
Your brilliance, when I met you, left no shade.
You burst into my life like a grenade.
And quickened part of me I thought had died.
You knew me from the first, I know not how.
By some bright magic you could read my mind,
And I knew all your reasoning in kind.
To be forever friends we took a vow.
But then came tedium, trouble, time, and tears.
The cords that bound us seemed to stretch and strain.
Your name, which once meant pleasure, now means pain.
How will our vow survive the coming years?
“You’ve changed!” I think, and voice to you my charge.
“It’s like you’re someone else!” you sadly say.
“You’ve lost your faith in God; you never pray!”
“Your politics are bad; your head’s grown large!”
But you will not so easily break free!
As if that Roman torture should revive
Of fastening a corpse to one alive,
My corpus haunts you yet, and you haunt me.
I picture you explaining this to friends:
“Oh that’s just poor old Paul, pay him no mind!
You’ll find the stench diminishes with time."
The horror of this bondage never ends.
“What happened that this curse became your lot?”
“I met him years ago, we struck a spark.
I touched him, and he left me with a mark.
But now this rotten corpse is all I’ve got.”
And I, in turn, must bear your corpse about,
And answer those same questions about you.
“To this old friend I once vowed to be true.
I’ll bear him to the end, I shouldn’t doubt.”
“But can’t you simply cut him loose?” they ask.
“As well cut out my heart!” is my reply.
"God’s truth, though keeping him should make me die,
My courage is unequal to the task.”
All the things you ever taught, I ponder.
All my teachings still your mind inspire.
All our sins cannot displace the wonder
Of a friendship forged in heaven’s fire.
Running, singing, chiming ever;
Praying, gasping, resting never;
World, flesh, devil cannot sever
You, my friend, from me.
Speaking, cursing, laughing, eating;
Sharing secrets, mourning, meeting;
Our poor, love-torn hearts are beating,
Waiting for the dawn.
Tethered corpses, long afflicted;
From eternity elected;
Dancing, kissing, resurrected;
Walking into light.