The James Hearst Digital Archive

Home » Poetry » The Comfort of a Friend

The Comfort of a Friend

Text of Poem

We have wandered as we wished
through groves and meadows of our choice,
and all the streams in which we fished,
the meetings where we raised a voice
roll up in a map of time when finished
the years when we were girls and boys.

Now that we’ve spent our hoard of years
in careful or in careless measure,
what have we left of hopes and fears
we boasted we enjoyed the leisure
to waltz until our star appears
to lead us to our rightful treasure.

But when at last we march our road
we find the ending seems abrupt
at tables either home, abroad
where sins are gilded as we supped,
unconscious of the rich man’s load
where worms creep in and moths corrupt.

When we no longer can defend
the shrunken yields left in our keeping,
the spirit that we had for friend
through bursts of joy and gusts of weeping
will be our comfort at the end
of days of sowing and of reaping.

First Line
We have wandered as we wished
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
A Country Man. Cumberland, IA: Pterodactyl Press. 1993. 47.
Complete Poems
Hearst Collections
Word Count
Poetic Form