A Soldier's Last Cry

Weakened and thirsty I could not go on,
I’d crawled through this desert too long.
My heart seemed so empty, my soul scorched with fear
And through it all, I’d lost my song.

“This war can’t continue,” I said to myself.
“They told us the end is in sight.”
I saw buddies dying from torture and wounds
While we prayed for the cover of night.

Alone in my foxhole, too weary to eat
The chow meant to keep us alive.
My canteen was empty; I fingered the rim
To find enough drink to survive.

I looked at the festering sore on my leg
And cringed; the infection had spread.
I wiped the dried blood with the tail of my shirt,
Overcome with a feeling of dread.

“Oh, Lord!” I cried out in the blackness of night,
Exhaustion was muffling my cry.
“I register ‘empty’ throughout all my frame;
Without You, I know I shall die.”

I lay there inert knowing death hovered o’er
When suddenly to my surprise,
I heard running water but no one was there.
Is this what it’s like when one dies?

A translucent hand held my canteen upright
And poured water up to the brim.
I drank to the bottom then reached for some more,
Still shaking, I tried to thank him.

I felt the cool liquid spread out through my veins
As my parched lips kept begging for more.
While the Angel removed all my stained, tattered clothes
And washed away all signs of war.

He dressed my leg wound and massaged my sore feet
Til I felt all the tension had fled;
Then he dressed me in clothes that were white as the snow.
I was clean, I felt full, I’d been fed.

“Your prayers have been answered,” he smiled down at me.
“You’re ready to make that last flight.
The blessed Lord Jesus has sent me for you;
You’re going Home to heaven tonight!”

by Mariane Holbrook

Mariane Holbrook is a retired teacher, an author
of two books, a musician and artist. She maintains
a personal website at http://www.marianholbrook.com
and welcomes your Emails at Mariane777@bellsouth.net.