So, I sees ’im in the grocery store a-shufflin’ down the aisle.
‘Is cart stuffed to the brim with food an’ wife ‘n’ kids in tow.
An’ I can’t ‘elp but let myself put on a great big smile
At this image of the rough-an’-tumble man I used to know.
“Troop!” says I, when ‘e gets near; ‘e looks me up an’ down.
Then ‘e too smiles as broad as paint; ‘is missus starts to frown.
“Well it’s bin years,” ‘e says to me, I scarcely knew ‘twas you
An’ we settled down to chew the fat ‘bout ol’ days that we knew.
When soldiering was manly stuff; comraderie the glue
That made our bosoms swell with pride beyond our bellies’ view.
When ‘ardship shared had bonded us an’ marked us as the few
To take our place at lion’s side, primed an’ set to do.
Then we grew sad an’ distant an’ ‘e says, “I bes’ be gone.
The missus gets some cranky, if I prattle on too long”.
So we shake ‘ands an’ smile a bit an’ promise to renew
An’ know full well it’s something that we never plan to do.
But I can’t ‘elp say one last thing, as my frien’ departs.
“’ow is it then”, I ask ‘im, as a tear comes to my eye,
"That 'airy-chested warriors; the likes of you an’ I
Are balding, gray an’ overweight an’ pushing shopping carts?"