Treasure Island

James Casey

(11June 1940 / Binghamton, New York)

The Last Inspection


The Last Inspection

The soldier stood and faced his God, which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.
' Step forward now, you soldier, how shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? to My Church have you been true? '

The soldier squared his shoulders and said, ' no Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns, can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, and at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent, because the world is awfully rough ''.

' But, I never took a penny, that wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear

I know I don't deserve a place, among the people here.
They never wanted me around, except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,1t needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, but if you don't, I'll understand.'

There was a silence all around the throne, where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly, for the judgment of his God.
' 'Step forward now, you soldier, you've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, you've done your time in Hell '

Jim 1967

Submitted: Friday, December 24, 2010
Edited: Thursday, April 26, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A poem written shortly after my getting out of the service

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