What Price Friendship?

today I’m responding to the Writer’s Digest April PAD Challenge, which is to start a poem — and title it — What —. (You fill in the blank and go from there. So here’s my response, derived from an incident in my early working days.

What Price Friendship?

A WWI vet in our care home,
gassed in the trenches,
in sad shape but hanging on
kind of lonely, ready for someone
to take an interest in him.

Then you started working,
befriended the old guy.
Chatty, friendly, living nearby,
you could pop over anytime
to visit, laugh at his jokes.

Always glad to run an errand,
share a drink – or two or three.
He enjoyed your visits
so much, told us you were
like a daughter to him.

In time the old man passed;
his family came to arrange
his funeral — and were shocked
when they discovered
Dad’s bank account drained.
What!? When? Who
had taken Dad to the bank?
An unsolved mystery.

Funny thing. Later I recalled
you telling me about some
lonely old fellow on the block
where you once lived, how
you’d become such good friends.
When he died, he left you
all his earthy goods.
After all, he had no one else.

And I wondered…

7 thoughts on “What Price Friendship?

    1. It was an intriguing story for sure. In a way, yes she did. His family did care and did visit, but weren’t — or didn’t make themselves — as handy. I don’t know if anyone ever learned who had taken him downtown to withdraw all his money. It may not have been his good friend, but he still had his wits about him. It wouldn’t have been a stranger.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. More story than poem, really, but quite the story. A disappointment for the care home owner and the family who, I suspect, counted on having that money for Dad’s funeral.
      I think he was sharp enough that it wouldn’t have involved a huge sum. Probably more like “Can you lend me xxx to cover a payment due? I’ll pay you back just as soon as –.”

      Liked by 1 person

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