My Friends

by Eric Chaet

My friends some times get so dejected—
&, oh, how I understand that dejection!—
having lived dejected years I thought would last my whole life!

My friends are careful to harm no one unnecessarily
&, if possible, to be of use—
especially to those whose need is greatest.

Sure, some times, their tactics are unwise!
But they try to learn from their mistakes.

Yes, they get trapped in resentment, stubbornness, sorrow—
& can’t see how to break out of downward spirals—
& leave the decisions & action
for people less considerate, less understanding
people with less self-control than themselves.

I never said that my friends were perfect!—
only that they were my friends.

(Tho many of them don’t think of me as a friend
while others I don’t think of as friends
consider me their friend.)

How I love to hear when events favor my friends!
I’m willing to listen when they are suffering—
because I know that, if they thrive, everyone around them benefits—
& maybe if I listen to what it pains them to reveal
they might begin to heal.

My friends are conscientious.
There’s no guarantee that they’ll succeed.
If I were a praying man
I’d be praying for the complete fulfillment of their potential.
I’m eager for them to find ways to fight for their own success
without having to use the tactics I know they’d never use.

If, without sacrificing my own fulfillment
I can help them—with effort or with hard-won resources—
helping them succeed is always high on my agenda.

It’s rare I get a chance to do it, tho:
they aren’t too good at asking for help—
& I don’t have much more than I need.



Previously appeared in The Minimag (USA), The Moon Light of Corea (Seoul, S. Korea).


purpose series
metanoia composure series
team series

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