David R. “Poppa” Alexander


There he lies, cold as the grave,
Dirty, tattered clothes and needing a shave,
No one seemed to notice him for years,
This old bum with eyes full of tears.

He had been in the alley for such a long time,
His presence barely noticed for it was no crime.
Where he came from no one knew,
They didn’t notice the ribbon about his neck of navy blue.

Attached to the ribbon was some kind of bobble,
Wonder why he hadn’t sold that to get another bottle?
He had first come there in the fall,
Huddled up in cardboard in a familiar ball.

Look his clothes used to be green,
Dirt now had covered the uniform and no emblem seen.
Just another bum, some had said,
Serves him right that he should end up like that alone and dead.

He was of no use to society;
His death will get no notoriety.
You see he’s just another old bum,
And his life added up to a very small sum.

Oh, but if they had looked closely at the clothes he wore,
They would have seen a soldier of a distant war.
He had left home in the summer of sixty-five,
Not knowing if he would come back alive.

To a distant land to fight for our freedoms and beliefs
But when he came home, he could find no relief.
He had come back tattered and worn,
Unable to cope with those he must morn.

He went to the VA Hospital more than one time,
They always told him he would have to wait in line,
He waited there for hours on end,
But no help for him did they send.

He had fought the battles of war,
He had done more than his duty and much, much more,
They only gave him the ribbon that he wore,
A medal he had won for valor fighting in that distant war.

His passing will earn not a single line,
But he died there after defending your life and mine.
His country had abandoned him and left him to his rum,
But why bother he was just an old bum.

Have you ever wondered how many old bums there are?
That fought for you in a far away war;
Coming home to a generation of people that could care less
And wouldn’t stoop down to help a soldier out of this mess.

The medal he still wore with pride,
Given to him by a country that could have cared less when he died.
They buried him in an unmarked grave, with no stone to mark his life,
WE let this soldier die, alone, sick, and full of strife.

But why bother with this old relic?
He was little more than a derelict.
Why bother at all with this kind of scum,
After all he was just an old bum.