Behind me there's an old man
with meat in a can and food stamps.
He's a veteran of Korea and Vietnam.
He trembles dimes for cigarettes.
For all he gave, this is what he gets?
I said, "Sir, I'll get the rest.
That is, if you don't mind.
Let me pay for yours;
You've already paid for mine."
Beside me there's a woman my age,
magazine in hand.
Her eyes are on the page, but her mind is burning.
She's got a girl in Navy blue,
she tells me, and her pride shines through,
but there's worry;
"I'm terrified all the time.
When you pray for yours,
don't forget to pray for mine."
A song for Shay at Real Toads. The first half of the poem is mostly true. I didn't actually tell the gentleman that I had paid for his groceries. I was afraid that I would offend him or that he would refuse.