Near the barnyard, by the fence,
old soldier stands with gnarled hands
saluting all the passerbys who happen by his shade.
Deep rooted kindness, with a furrowed brow,
crusty outside, yet velvet within
calling all the children in
as he's done down through the ages
"Come! Climb! Swing!"
And the old backyard centurion one summer day
invited me, again, to childish play.
But, laden with responsibility, I turned away.
You see, I've grown up now -- so much to do,
And ripe adults don't act that way.
Yes, with a heavy hearted sighing,
I turned and walked away.
But, even in the turning, my boyish heart was yearning
for another swing -- impulsive, foolish thing!
My grown up soul had somehow met its match.
Old soldier may be past his prime, with knotted, brittle hands,
Yet deep inside I fully understand
that he can still catch me!
So, in joyous liberation, I dropped my briefcase on the ground
and as a little child from grown up heart unbound,
ran carefree to the old walnut tree
to play, and climb, and swing.