If you’re lucky as a youngster they may gravitate to you,
More often they come later when you least expect them to,
Though chalk’n’cheese collectively, how fortunate they’re there,
The bond you seal, surprisingly, will rarely need repair.
You’ll both have bosom chums who come and go as years go by,
A family, fresh starts and feints, and other fish to fry,
But the bond is made of sterner stuff than most of us might guess,
And only fools would waver with a best friend in distress.
You’ll drown in popularity when fame has come to call,
And if there’s money in it—you may watch the phoneys crawl,
But should there be a reckoning, a hiccup in the play,
Your best friend’s still applauding while the rest have slunk away.
Your friend may live on foreign shores a score of years or more,
But when you meet again you’re both as easy as before,
A spouse may be suspicious—and your newer friends may stare,
But a best friend shrugs a shoulder, and simply doesn’t care.
Lend money to a friend and you can kiss your friend goodbye,
But a best friend is quite different, and I shall tell you why,
You will never dream of making them a loan on which to claim,
You give them what is needed—knowing they would do the same.
When you face a fine—or prison!— for a thing you did not do,
And your mates are in a panic (just in case it might be true),
And the courtroom is oppressive and the outlook’s dark and drear,
Who’s that waving in the gallery with a grin from ear to ear?
As your quack shows you a test result he doesn’t like a bit,
And you stumble from the clinic thinking— ‘Bloody hell, that’s it,’
That’s your best friend in the car park, to greet you with a wink
And steer you to a hostelry to to drown your fears in drink.
Their banter is a code that neither gods nor time may break,
The marching years steal many things—but this they cannot take,
Your best friend fed your better half and the wiser that you get
The more you come to comprehend the vastness of the debt.
When the Reaper sidles closer and you sense your day is done
As a stranger in God’s waiting room, friends passing one by one,
You may nurse a consolation to ease you at the end,
The memory of a soulmate, one who called you their best friend.