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The Fantasist

Courtesy of the internet
I've been looking at my past,
My regimental photo gallery
Has been uploaded at last.
A picture from the  sergeants mess
Taken five or six years after I'd gone.
Amazing how many of my friends
Stayed serving and got promoted on.

He's just off centre
Caught in three quarter profile
I know I'll  never ever forget
That strange but confident smile.
A compulsive congenital liar
Who lived such a fantasy life
With his non existent Degree and
His disinherited millionairess wife.

He should have been in the Olympics
But for the bad ankle sprain
Sustained  when he left the blocks
The last time he'd been able to train.
I'll never forget the Colonel's face
When told on that memorable day
For leave  he was hiring a yacht
To sail from Cyprus back to the U.K.

We tried to work around him
For deep down we all knew
The fantasies he spun
He really believed were true.
An amiable kind of bloke
Wouldn't hurt a soul
But when he started to speak
Just seemed to lose control.          

Looking at this photograph
In my head I know
It was taken in the mess
More than fifty years ago.
I wonder how far through the ranks
They were prepared to let him rise
Before action had to be taken
To confront his compulsive lies.

Did he fulfil his engagement,
Complete his twenty two years
Or did it all go wrong and
His service end in tears.
Maybe things were different
Maybe he'd changed a lot
But I remember the old adage
About the Leopard and his spots.

Curiosity raised by the picture,
Something I'll never ever know
One of those things, perhaps,
It's better just to let go.
Thankful for the memory
From my life at that early stage
I'll just close the browser down,
After first bookmarking the page.

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