A Friend of Mine

by Ken Harnisch

Sophomoric antics
Were his jack-in-trade
But he had a charm
That made women swoon
And men fork over sums
There was no guarantee
Would ever be repaid.

Some say his eyes sparkled
Like diamonds; other say
It was in the way he touched
You. He seemed to be intimate
In a way that made you arch your shoulder
Up for more. A friend to men,
A lover to women who sought
Adventure in his smile and
Found disappointment in his arms

He could hold you, but never keep you
And after the opening salvos in his seduction
His words fell short and his dance was
Stiff as a scarecrow’s, and only animated
In a good stiff wind.

Perhaps that is what made him
A vagabond who tipped his hat
Before he boarded every train. He left
You with the sense you’d been had
And as the train pulled away from the
Platform, you always slapped your
Trousers, checking to see if your
Wallet was still there.

He loved a very beautiful girl once
But she did not love him back
He married beneath himself,
Thinking it was better someone
Pined for him than the other way around;
But he refused
To allow he could be wounded
By admitting just once in his
Life he put someone up
On a pedestal and worshipped her
Above himself.

He told the tale as if the girl
Had lost the Star of India
But if you knew him, you
Wanted to seek her out
And congratulate her
For being the one that got away.


Posted on 10/26/2010
Copyright © 2024 Ken Harnisch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/27/10 at 12:38 AM

This reads with a refined touch, great images, details that make this fellow come alive. I really enjoyed - "His words fell short and his dance was Stiff as a scarecrow’s, and only animated In a good stiff wind." Also - loved the whole train stanza, and the reference to the Star of India. A fine piece. Thank you.

Posted by Scott Utley on 10/28/10 at 04:15 AM

I love it! I love it! I was surprised. I actually howled as read your ending. Why was I so taken aback ..? A great writer can make me react that way, but there are not too many of those - at least not here at Riker's Island - in solitary - maybe in the general public - but - I will never know ... Bravo!

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