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MUSED Literary Magazine.

Dear Friend

Penny Peyser

A dear friend called to say that she was sick.
I measured words to lessen my dismay;
Too much concern would be impolitic
And too little, I would appear blasé.
I knew my first response was critical;
All future confidences would depend
On if I could be warmly analytical,
Assuring her that this was not her end.
In truth my heart was pounding in my chest
As she described her symptoms and her fears.
I murmured useless things like “get some rest,”
And hoped she couldn’t sense my falling tears.
Ashamed and so relieved she couldn’t see
That I was sorely glad it wasn’t me.