Will you be my friend? by James Kavanaugh

Will you be my friend?
There are so many reasons why you never should:
I’m sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive,
My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give,
I talk about myself when I’m afraid
And often spend a day without anything to say.
    But I will make you laugh
And love you quite a bit
And hold you when you’re sad.
I cry a little almost every day
Because I’m more caring than the strangers ever know,
And, if at times, I show my tender side
(The soft and warmer part I hide)
I wonder, will you be my friend?

    A friend who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie
Will touch the secret place where I am really I,
To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep,
Who will not run away when you find me in the street
Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats
But will stop and stay-to tell me of another day
When I was beautiful.
Will you be my friend?

    There are so many reasons why you never should:
Often I’m too serious, seldom predictably the same,
Sometimes cold and distant, probably I’ll always change.
I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child,
I brood and pout, my anger can be wild,
But I will make you laugh and love you quite a bit
And be near you when you’re afraid.

    I shake a little almost every day
Because I’m more frightened than the strangers ever know
And if at times I show my trembling side
(The anxious, fearful part I hide)
I wonder, will you be my friend?

    A friend who, when I feel your closeness, feels me push away
And stubbornly will stay to share what’s left on such a day,
Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone,
When there’s no concern for me – what I have or haven’t done-
And those I’ve helped and counted on have oh, so deftly, run,
Who, when there’s nothing left but me, stripped of charm and
Subtlety, will nonetheless remain.

    Will you be my friend?
For no reason that I know, Except I want you so.

20 Responses to “Will you be my friend? by James Kavanaugh”

  1. raquel Says:

    its a beutiful poem..it touches my heart..i will get a copy of this..and i will give it to my friends..tnx for this poem…

  2. Arnaud Says:

    Someone sent this poem to me once. She said it was not a message, it will help me. It was a message, but I could not be her friend cause I liked her differently. Now she hates me and I still like her. And this poem that did not help me at the time, now does, as I remember what I meant to her.

    • Sheryl Gregg Says:

      I have had something similar to your 2010 comment about Would You Be My Friend poem. I, too, think about how I liked him differently. Now I think he hates me and I still like him. And this poem now helps me remember what I meant to him. Amazing how things happen in life. I think a friend is a friend; people change.

  3. minnie Says:

    I’ve carried this poem with me since I was 12 or so….Its mangled and tattered,and I thought I’d check the web.Thanks, I love it so, your presentatioin is beautiful also…hope you don’t mind if I “barrow it”, and pass along!?!

  4. Sarah R Hammond Boardman Says:

    This poem was quote on the back of my wedding program almost 20 years ago….looking back it is more true today that it was the day we said “I do”.

  5. Jasmine Says:

    It is beautiful, so touching and wonderful.is there anyone out there who will be my friend?i am 28 year old housewife

  6. Anna Says:

    to all the friends I’ve never known

  7. Michele Says:

    I submitted this poem into my high school year book, over 30 yrs. ago, without the author’s name. Reminiscing, I read it again & wondered who wrote it. It still tugs at my heart. Thank you for posting.
    This would fall under Bold Vulnerability!

    • Pixel Says:

      These two verses are in the back of a book by the same name and written and copyrighted to the now deceased author James Kavanaugh. You can still purchase some of his works on Amazon. These two verses are a continuation of the early verses in the front and create a vastly different image from the beginning of the poem.

  8. annie Says:

    AWESOME POEM IM GIVING THIS TO MY FRIEND ON HER B-DAY THNX FOR IT UR AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Roland Says:

    A poem that speaks volumes!!!! It words echoes the true thoughts, desires, and hopes of one looking for friendship. Aren’t we ALL!!!!!

  10. Riley Says:

    My late best friend sent me this about 15yrs ago. It related to our own friendship, but also really resonated with me on a very personal level. I quote pieces from it a lot, when jokingly letting someone in on an aspect of my personality.

  11. Andy Says:

    I heard this on a re run of Matlock.

  12. El Says:

    I am wondering when this poem was written because I was given a copy of it in 1979. The person who gave it to me was not the poet to whom it is attributed here or elsewhere on the ‘Net.

  13. nerissawvh Says:

    I came upon this when I was a girl and learned it by heart. Now I am a mother and want to share it with my daughter. Thank you.

  14. Barbara J. Hughey Says:

    James Kavanaugh grew up in the city where I live–Kalamazoo, MI. I had the privilege of meeting him and discussing his touching and meaningful poetry. He remains my favorite poet, and his “WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND” my favorite poem–it touches the heart with its universal truth (characteristic of all Kavanaugh’s writing–prose and poetry). “WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND” was introduced to my students in Interpersonal Communication and Performance of Literature courses , and they found it as true and meaningful as I. –bjh

  15. Tony Simons Says:

    This poem has been one of my favorites for about 40 years, and I have it memorized. To know that we all share this special poem feels like a bond.

    I could be wrong, but I think the line towards the end that says “a friend who, when i feel your closeness, feels me push away…” I think it properly should read, “a friend who, when i _fear_ your closeness, feels me push away…” Can someone please check it?

  16. John Says:

    My future wife gave me this poem in 1975 we were dating. I read it and realized it was my story. Thanks to this poem I opened up to my future wife, we became lovers best friends. We were together 42 years, married 39 years. She passed away 8/1/17, I had the opportunity to be a part of a great relationship I’m thankful. Thank you James kavenaugh!

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