I Didn’t Know His “Name”
I looked to see a figure pressing,|
Toward me from the snowy plain.
A soldier man I sat there guessing,
Who bore a weather beaten frame.
Waving as he drew near to me.
He asked to sit beside my fire.
Out of breath and softly speaking,
He said “I’m feeling very tired”.
I gave him coffee hot and steaming.
Placed some food onto a plate.
In humble gratitude he thanked me,
Then he very slowly ate.
His beard appeared somewhat dirty.
His eyes shown red from lack of sleep.
His age I guessed nigh on to sixty.
His clothes were old, yet still were neat.
I took a pillow and a covering,
And asked if he would stay the night.
He said perhaps “I’ll stay till morning
Leaving in dawn’s early light”.
I could not help but wonder if he,
Had some family or friends.
I asked by chance if he would let me,
Help him find his next of kin.
He spoke of one he loved so deeply.
Her hair he said was “autumn brown
Her dreamy eyes were blue and sparkling”.
His face turned slowly to a frown.
“There was a girl named Susan waiting
When I was called to fight in war
When I returned” his head now drooping,
“She did not love me anymore”
Silence then, no words were spoken.
I stared into the open sky.
I knew his heart still was broken.
I watched him softly close his eyes.
I woke early the next morning.
Got our coffee hot to pour.
All along I thought him sleeping,
Yet he had died the night before.
I thought he died so broken hearted,
For years had carried so much pain.
But since from this fair life he’s parted,
Perhaps now heaven he would gain.
Farewell, farewell, sleep on old soldier.
No more battles for you to fight.
You should have lived to be much older,
But death has taken, away your life.
Dream on; dream on, you’ve earned your resting.
Find comfort in your victory gained.
For your released from all life’s sorrows,
All life’s heartaches and its pain.
I searched his clothes for something stating
Who he was or where he’d been.
But he had nothing on him showing,
To me his family, or his friends.
Beneath the sod he now lays sleeping.
A simple marker at his head.
An unknown soldier lies here resting,
But “ REST IN PEACE “ is all it says.
© 2005 jrb
(All rights reserved)