The Friends of Our Youth

The Friends of our youth are important to us.

On an overcast day in May

I returned with my mother to Croydon;

Old buildings made new

And others just torn down.

Cosmopolitan Croydon where possibly eighty languages or more are spoken.

Young people laughing and moving,

The older ones watching and contemplating.

Today we travelling through time

To a dear friend’s funeral.

She was my mother’s best friend.

The memories they had shared,

Working for as long as they could

With those suffering schizophrenia,

Or terrible suffering and seemingly

Endless loss.

Giving hope and good care; the best.

The best that humanity has to offer.

She loved Arsenal and Barry Manilow

Which in the 1980s was very big deal!

I also learned of the loss of her son;

My friend with kind eyes and a gentle heart

Compassionate with remarkable prowess.

Most gifted in football and could make a ton.

I wanted to see him for many years,

But when you leave home you cannot

Take the Friends of Your Youth with you.

He was just outstanding …….and kind.

Two goals against Arsenal? Am I dreaming?

I will always remember their kindness.

As I walked with my mother

Through the cemetery,

Meeting the family and friends,

I prayed for them all.

In this oasis in South London,

There is the peace that the human heart

Seeks even at the end.

The Friends of Our Youth stay with us always.


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