The old friends whom I have known
But now seem to have outgrown;
Least to say they have dropped me
For reasons that I can’t see.
Once they came in joyous reason;
Stayed season upon season.
When we’d sit and talk for hours
Of animals, trees and flowers,
Of art and philosophy.
Brian, Jim and Valerie.
But these old friends went away,
Unaware that here I’d stay.
Malcolm and Mick died, it’s true,
And those who stayed became few:
New lives and acquaintances.
But gradually I heard less;
Sometimes new found affluence
Sped regretted severance
Leaving me isolated -
Lonely – old friends lamented.
So they go, family too,
Important business to do.
How can this one fain begrudge,
It is not for me to judge
How others must live their lives.
Sometimes it’s men: their new wives
Come and rightly take their time;
The same with girls I’d opine.
They will drift and drop away,
Tomorrow and yesterday.
Now I sit with pen in hand,
And will hope but not demand
That news might come in return:
Some view or new thing to learn.
But damned new technology
Makes quick response too easy.
Here it is, what I most fear,
Those few words, ‘Thanks, good to hear’.
To these how does one respond?
Too easy to break the bond.
And lose what little remained -
The smallest that I can claim -
Of dignity without blame.
Of this I feel no shame.
Must avoid those who won’t speak
[Is this being strong or weak?]
But cannot a nuisance be,
To preserve some dignity,
If only for self-respect.
Without that there’s nothing left.
© RM Meyer, Winswell Water, June 2019