I am no steel centurion
Although I long to be one
Just a leaky tin soldier
Filled with saltwater sorrow
And freshwater memories

Of once upon a time so long ago
Childhood was no dream
Though it seems like one now

Cradling a fuzzy hope
An imagined companion
Praying for the day when
I would finally know what the word
"Friend" meant

And be able to understand
Why hide and seek
Was always hide from me

We all know
That once long ago
The tin soldier was shiny and new
Shiny and polished and glowing
A smile painted upon his face

But now

See the dent where he fell against the wall
Where he was dropped and thrown down the hall
His paint is chipped and faded and worn
His uniform torn and his smile smeared

Time has battered and bruised him
Life has wearied and used him
But he is still there
In the corner

And he reminds us every time we look
That while he can never be the way he was

He should be