Ships that pass in the night (reprise)

and so I write this
not out of vanity, I hope
for really, I am but an old man
by government standards

but to say
how you affect me
and to wonder what you see
when you look at me
and why you do what you do

I have been in this town
since before your birth
and have lived many years before that

you started work as a young girl of sixteen
in that store where I shop
and now you are twenty two
with a child of your own
and an absent father, you’re high and dry

funny, I thought you didn’t like me
because you never spoke when I passed by
all of those six years
rather, you turned away

but, at Christmas, I had some business to do there
and you helped me
I said Merry Christmas and turned to go
but you overtook me, looked up smiling
and hugged me tightly

I knew not what to do, and blushingly walked away
weeks into the new year, I felt I should say something
so, haltingly, I said you had made my day
on Christmas Eve, with that unexpected hug,
so you gave me another, then ran to the back room

do I mean something to you?
did our souls meet, perhaps, in another life?
I do not know what to say to you
except to make small talk
how’s the baby?
how’s your toothache?
are you working hard, or hardly working?

but you still smile, and give a squeeze once in a while
I wonder about your life, and what it’s like
single, on your own, small child, crummy job
but I would never ask inappropriate questions
in an inappropriate place

and so, we just pass each other
and if you fancy, we chat
and sometimes you look about
before you bestow that secret hug
to make this old guy’s day


and so, today, I walk by an aisle
you are there, in your old man’s sweater
stocking shelves, or some such
and, of course, you jump up, smile,
give more hugs
so I say, hey you will get yourself in trouble
fraternizing with the customers, eh?
I ask you about your little girl
and you look a bit sad
so I say what’s the matter
and you say she is two years old now
and she is growing too fast
I say what do you mean
and you say I would like her to stay small
’cause all I want to do is cuddle her.

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