Around the corner by Charles Hanson Towne (1877 – 1949)

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him”,
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
“Here’s a telegram sir,” “Jim died today.”
And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Despite a gap of more than 100 years since the poet’s time and mine, this is exactly how life goes on for most of the people even now. People make friends but then in the run of life, priorities change. Ones whom we once considered ourselves to be inseparable from, sharing innocent times or simply enjoying the company, became burdens which could not be carried while running the race of life. The time that was considered well spent in the company of the friend, suddenly transforms into a waste of time as there could be other productive things one could be doing in the same time. But does it happen that most of the people really regret not having gotten in touch with a friend before his time came? Or is it just a poetic thought? I wonder…

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