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The Lost Friend

I met him again this morning

By chance in the street where I live.


He’d been a friend of ours.

He had been prominent at work,

The number one,

The wit, the source of all the fun.

We thought ourselves dull

And slow by comparison.


He stooped as he walked towards me,

Not so tall as he once was.

His hair was lank,

His smile was slow.

There was no answer in his grey eyes,

And he searched for words that would not flow.


They’d told me he had not been well,

That he was not himself,

That he was not the man he’d been before,

And after that they’d said no more.


The worm

Of darkened thoughts

And strange imaginings,

You can call it what you will,

Had turned the man that we admired most

Into a slow and shuffling ghost.