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Empty Shells

Over sixty years of friendship,
But sadly all things end
As I look at this remnant of
My tried and trusted friend.

He's got an unshaven chin
Watery rheumy blank eyes
And when I shake his hand
Shows no sign I'm recognised.
I can see he doesn't remember,
Doesn't react to my name,
When I talk of our past
His non reaction is the same
.He's like an observer
Mindlessly looking on,
Outside he's alive
Inside he's gone.

They did try to warn me
But at least I had to try,
Try to reach my old friend,
At the very least say goodbye.
I sat with him for a while
Both engaged in non conversation
Until at last I could accept
The reality of the situation.
I muttered a last goodbye
To my oldest old friend
Knowing that our friendship
Had finally come to its end.

So, I'll go and sup a pint
The way we used to do
And I'll sit silently there
And think of me and you.
Not the wreck I've just seen,
Physically and mentally impaired
But the hale and hearty mate,
And the experiences we shared.
In time I'll recover
Maybe once or twice cry
But mostl i'll enjoy the memory
Of our shared times gone by

I shan't go to his funeral
If he beats me to the end
That box will just hold the shell
Of my best and oldest friend.

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