To my dear Mark,

If I cherish sweet memories of youth,

I owe them to you.

If we lost contact,

You never left me.

I thank my good fortune,

That you were there,

When I was stepping, 

Fearfully, fitfully, 

Into Manhood,

And we dreamt all those impossible dreams together.

If life didn’t turn out as I plotted it

(Whose life does?),

Still, I can cling to those irrevocable moments

When that unique alloy of gravitas and goodness that is you

Made life worth living, and more.

***