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.
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