Last Winter my friend and neighbour 
loaded up his ute with the best quality red gum and we, together in a show of gay manly pride, created a stack of wood in my garden.... to last..
the rest of that cold winter
I was warm twice, knowing I was cared for 

In early summer he visited and I drew him in his hat,  no clothes,  his hat protecting his English skin from becoming pinker 

He was in fine form building his new home by himself 

At Christmas he was diagnosed with cancer

In February we have a quick word while his intended is shopping.   "No Regrets Thank You" he says

by March he had married his boyfriend 

Then he moved north to be cared for by his new husband

It is Autumn, winter is approaching I will soon leave for Europe
Each log I place on the fire I  reflect on how his,  and my days are numbered.
 I am still proud of our friendship but I know I may never see his face again 

I am leaving tomorrow. I ring a former neighbour who says  “he is dead”.  I had always hoped he would beat it with his huge personal and financial reserves
I have missed the funeral

At the last minute I pack the portrait I  have painted of him – I will take him on my adventures and live my life with no regrets in his honour