Sandbox rules of engagement,

a runny nose or a mud pie in your eye

and you ask: "You wannna play with me?"

In kindergarten giggles over

squishy squashy finger-paints,

building blocks of tunnels and towers, and

tossing each other around like bear cubs.

Pleased as Stanley discovering Livingston ,

forging a crazy-glue bond, pulling together,

a team of Clysedales, laughing easily like

the brothers Click and Clack, the honking

of the flying geese mated for life.

Intimate as the blood brothers of the Ojibwa and

Choctaw Indians who discovered the revered I-Thou

bond of Buber without ever reading a word.

Having a combat medic who comes

when you call, or a Corsican twin, who just

knows when to be there for you.

Acquaintances abound like a school of guppies,

but a 14 carat buddy is precious as a pair

of Siamese Tiger Fish swimming in tandem.

When either of you indulges in

any one of the Seven Deadly Sins,

you must tolerate each other’s foibles

for the friendship to endure, overlooking

the misdemeanors that leave one’s ego

black and blue.

It takes the scorpion’s sting of betrayal

to end a cherished friendship.

As Oscar Wilde once said:

"A true friend stabs you in the front."




Milton P. Ehrlich