How is the title of the poem "After Twenty Years" by O.Henry related to the narrative of its story?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrative of O. Henry's story is related to the title because the plot revolves around what happens twenty years after the two friends have parted ways.

The plot begins as the New York beat policeman spots a man standing in a dark doorway. When the policeman slowly approaches, the man with an unlighted cigar in his mouth quickly speaks, explaining why he is standing in this doorway: 

"It's all right, officer....I'm just waiting for a friend. It's an appointment made twenty years ago. Sounds a little funny to you, doesn't it? Well, I'll explain....Twenty years ago I dined here at 'Big Joe' Brady's with Jimmy Wells, my best chum, and the finest chap in the world."

The man lights his cigar and continues his explanation that when he and his "best chum" parted, he went out West and the two lost contact. Nonetheless, he knows that Jimmy will show up tonight because he has not left the New York that he has always loved, and, besides, he has always been the most loyal of friends.

Indeed, it is also this loyalty of twenty years that motivates Jimmy to write a letter to Bob and send a plain clothes policeman to arrest him, rather than to embarrass 'Silky' Bob by putting handcuffs on him and arresting this criminal who is wanted in Chicago.