Shared with me in 1989 by sportswriter Joel Atencio.
looking for a friend
if one thousand men
walking through this world
room to room to room
then home again
ask the favor of your friendship
know that i am one
within the thousand.
if one hundred men
making do within this world
in city places or the kindest country
fall down fighting for your friendship
know that i am on the battlefield
amid the hundred.
if twenty men
who know and knew this world
from crested hills to uncrowned valley
send letters breathing friendship
expect my letter soon
among the twenty.
if one man living in this too-grey world
running crooked paths or pacing pavements
comes in need of friendship
be not amazed or disbelieve,
i am that one man.
if no one comes to you
carrying a new world in his arms
or at his back in a rolling wagon
offering to you out of friendship
know that I have been detained
but even now am on my way
still no one comes to you
within this world
when two dozen years or half of that has passed
come and seek me out
for i’ll be lifeless in a grave and gone.
perhaps you were hiding
or concerned with other things
but know that while I lived
i went on looking.