Old Friends

Old Friends

joe
gave his old friend
$300 
to bring them food
anytime 
he visits

joe 
gave his old friend
$300 
to bring food
since joe
doesn't like getting dressed
or ever
having to leave

retired
with no other friends
nothing to do
nowhere to go
the $300
was a drop in the bucket
to joe

and 
with health
better than his old friend's
with nothing
to otherwise do
nowhere
to otherwise go
getting dressed
going somewhere
doing anything
shouldn't have been
any more
than a drop
in joe's bucket
either

but joe won't leave
his house or sofa
both long infused
with the smell
of their only
lonely occupant
so his friend comes by
every few weeks
with food 
joe paid for
from various places
he thinks joe
might like

and sometimes
he brings joe
soda or beer or old-time candy
that joe's hinted
he might like

sometimes
he brings joe
spices and herbs
he thinks
joe might like

sometimes
he brings joe
medicines
he thinks
might help

if it'll be a while 
between visits
he'll call
to check on joe
since joe
has no other friends
nowhere to go
and
nothing to do

if a few weeks elapse
his old friend will call
to make sure
joe isn't dead
though joe
never calls
if a few weeks 
happen to elapse
without hearing
from his old
broken-down
friend

his friend stops by
every few weeks
with food and concern
so joe 
reluctantly accepts
and allows him in

as they eat
and talk
joe
as normal
ridicules
his friend's voraciousness
and ridicules
his strange beliefs
about herbal cures
and conspiracies
then
will ridicule him again
after he wakes
from falling 
dead asleep
so quickly
after their meal

a few times
his friend suggested
maybe they go somewhere
besides joe's house
to eat and talk
but the cascade
of frail excuses
made it clear to his friend
that wasn't
in the cards

his friend will leave
and joe will wish
he wouldn't come around
so often
even though
nobody else
including the family
joe claims to miss
does

sometimes
joe will consider
if he's a good a friend
to this guy
the only one
who ever calls him
brings him food
and candy 
and spices 
and medicine
the only one
who shows him
any concern

joe
will fall a sleep too
from the same meal
minutes after his friend leaves
assuring himself
he's a fine friend
for giving him
$300 dollars
for both of them to eat
and for
so kindly
allowing him
to break bread
at his table

joe will assure himself
of being a fine friend
to the lonely guy
bringing food
his wife long dead
his children moved away
needing
someone to entertain
all of his nonsense
about conspiracies
and herbal
remedies

joe's old friend
might be a sucker
since he's got
plenty of money
of his own
but still
nobody else
quite understands
and accepts
joe's pitifully
wretched state
quite like
joe's old friend

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