False Friends: An Admittedly Longer-than-Necessary Ghazal about Friendship
June 25, 2016
True friendship is something for which most people yearn—
Folks there for us, asking for nothing in return
Who’ll gladly see us through the worst of times without
Demanding a thing for their support in return.
Alas, too many selfish schlubs exist out there
Who’ll only help us when there’s something in return
For them to gain, be it some physical reward
That they can exchange for something else in return
Or something intangible with which to patch their
Sundered souls, part of which they’d traded in return
For whatever has made them what they are these days—
Bitter, jaded, and nasty to folks in return
For some foul misfortune that fell upon them once,
Leaving them furious at the world in return
Or simply because they’re naturally born bastards
Who blatantly treat others like crap in return
For no retribution at all, for others fear,
Justly or not, what might fall on them in return
And manage to get away with all that they pull
Until they die, then into the ground they return.
Honestly, what kind of friends would these monsters make?
What exactly would they have to give in return
To one who would dare see them through the worst of times
Without ever asking for a thing in return?
Take, take, take—that’s all fools like these know how to do
While giving nothing but pain and grief in return.
Such is what I’ve learned over many years on Earth,
Giving my all to, yet getting naught in return
From folks who proved to be nothing but parasites,
Leaching off my love and effort while in return
Causing me only anguish and suffering with
What they’d say and do to me daily in return,
Especially when I couldn’t meet their demands
For what I was expected to give in return.
From those days, I’ve vowed to exercise more caution
When dealing with folks who might one day in return
For my barefaced respect and compassion give me
Only dismissal and misery in return.
No longer would I waste my time with false friends for
Any reason. Note, too, that I’ve yet to return
To that point in my life, for as far as things go,
Those days are gone, and I hope to never return
To being the senseless sap I was long ago,
Always giving but never getting in return.
From now on, I’m only holding out for folks who
Believe in reciprocity and will return
That which I give them, for though it may seem petty
To give and hopefully get something in return,
Me knowing that what I’m giving means anything,
No matter how minor, means something in return,
And that in and of itself is the greatest gift
I could hope to get from anyone in return.
To Hell with false friends, then! Quite frankly, I’m better
Off without them, and I’m sure to never return
To seeking their half-hearted approval, so good
Riddance, and off to a brighter day I return.