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Ware - A Reappraisal

He had a way with words,
An avuncular style,
A throaty little laugh,
A world embracing smile.
He didn't suffer fools gladly,
He thought that I was thick
But not too bad really for
A Yorkshire country hick.
He came into my life
For just a year two
One of those characters
That just passes through.

Raw recruits together
Both misfits in our way
Wouldn't be given houseroom
In the Army of today.
This was sixty years ago
When his career came to end
And so often over the years
I've thought about my friend.
Somehow I bumbled through
A life of undiscovered crime
While my poor old mate
Got caught out every single time.

I stood, both escort and witness,
Even brought the final charge,
That set in motion the events that
Returned him to the world at large.
He wrote to me from civvie street
To say thank you and goodbye,
An offer of continuing friendship?
I didn't even bother to reply
All these many years later
A thing I've lived to regret
One of those true characters
It's so very hard to forget.

A misfit who loved his words,
Who tried to escape in drink,
Who for a while survived
Always living on the brink
Not so many months after
By mutual consent
It was agreed
Time that I too went.
I wrote to my old friend
I felt I had to try
But like me earlier
There was no reply.

For a long time I missed him
Missed his way with words
Missed his throaty chuckle
His laughter at the absurd.
These many years later
I still have fond recall
Of my fellow misfit
And how we survived it all.
He didn't suffer fools gladly
Often told me I was thick
But not too bad really for
A Yorkshire country hick.

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