is the ineffable knowledge
that you are safe with someone
that you are always welcome in his house
that you needn't count your words in his prescence.
A friend is someone
to whom you can simply entrust all you have to say,
the wheat and the chaff all mixed up,
in the knowledge that a loyal hand will
gather it all together and sift it,
retaining that which is valuable
and scattering the rest to the wind
in a gesture of encouragement...