I was drinking at the Legion
The place wasn't really busy
But there was one man at a table
Who made me really dizzy
He was waving all around the room
He was really in a zone
The funny thing about it
He was sitting all alone
He spoke in quiet whispers
And he heard silent replies
From chairs that sat there empty
He heard their mournful cries
He had a beer before him
But he never left his chair
And no one sat beside him
It's just like he wasn't there
So, I went about my business
Playing darts and shooting pool
Buying tickets for the meat draws
Watching young ones acting cool
The other active members
Who'd spent some time in battle
Always checked to see his beer was full
As he sat there spouting prattle
It's unwritten at the Legion
You never ask about the war
You just revel in their company
That's what the place is for
There's veterans who'll tell stories
Of years gone bye and bye
But, you never ask a question
"Did you see somebody die?"
The Actives know their station
The young ones though do not
It's because of all the Actives
They've got all that they've got
As time went on I wondered
The story of this man
So , I went and asked the barkeep
He said "I'll tell you what I can"
He served two brews and wiped a glass
He stood flashing a smile
"You'd better grab a chair my boy"
"This here might take a while"
I sat and listened as he talked
About this man distressed
He told me "His name's Harold"
"And you can say his mind is messed"
"I've been working here for twenty years
And he's been here twice that
He's never moved from that damn chair
That's where Harold's always sat"
He got up once to fill a glass
And then came back to me
"When I came here, I had just got home
"I'd been fighting overseas"
"From what I heard at first" he said
"Harold's always been that way"
"And as you can see from watching"
"He'll always stay that way"
"He's lost inside his mind you know
To June 6 in forty four"
"We both know that as D-Day
"But he knows it as more"
"It was Juno Beach from what I've told
he landed with his squad
Over 14,000 Canadians
And now most lie with God"
I then got up and went outside
I said "I need a break"
I went out for a cigarette
For this tale had made me shake
I went back in, got two more beers
And sat right down again
"His whole platoon went down that day
They'd lost 3,000 men"
"There was Harold and 300
"others who survived"
"But living life inside their heads"
"I think they'd wished they'd died"
"He lives with Jean, his sister"She's been there all his life
"She put her life on hold for him
"She's never been a wife"
"She pays me for his beer every month
"And says to keep some for me
"But a penny's never crossed my bar
"You see ...Old Harold drinks for free"
"I give her money now and then
"I say he won a draw"
"Just for showing up each day I say
"just that and nothing more"
I went and grabbed a bar rag
And I wiped my teary eyes
I then paid for my drinks and
I left fifty bucks besides
He said your bill's eight fifty
What's all the extra for?
I said that he could keep it
Or just put it in his draw
He nodded and he smiled
And I left the bar for home
And as I left I watched poor Harold
On Juno Beach, his mind, his home
I came back three months later
And I saw no Harold there
There was now an empty table
And now, four empty chairs
"Dear God, it's you"....the barkeep said
"Grab your coat, come with me"
"Harold died on Saturday"
"And his funeral's at three"
He died a war time hero
But still a prisoner all the same
And down at our old Legion
Very few knew Harold's name
When we got out to the gravesite
I expected to see more
But there was just Old Harold's sister
The priest and us two...made it four.
We said a prayer, and sang a Hymn
He was back with his Platoon
He was back on Juno Beach again
Where his life ended that June
It's a shame that no one came out
To see him on his way
But, there'll be me and Bill the barkeep
Every year and on this day.
When I was thirteen,
You told me I should go and rent a movie on VHS,
Harold and Maude.
You said I was Harold incarnate.
You asked me almost everyday
If I had seen it yet.
I went to the Internet,
And read the synopsis. I thought it was a dirty movie.
The kind my conservative, Republican mother probably wouldn't rent
So I lied to you.
And you asked me questions,
Made jokes I pretended to understand,
I laughed and shook my head and blushed.
I watched it two weeks ago, and loved it.
And now that you're dead
Were you Maude?