Loyd C. Taylor, Sr.

An Old Soldier

A Tribute to all veterans, and all of our brave soldiers, God bless you!

******
Friend, I have faced many a difficult battle,
Dangerous missions requiring real backbone.
As a soldier, I have encountered hard times,
But this trip was the toughest one I had known.

My feet became heavy, but still I advanced...
Moving down the long hallway to where he lay;
This man was my best friend and fellow soldier,
But I had received news he would die today.

His room was now only a few feet from me;
I became frozen, standing there at his door.
I had come to say good-bye to my comrade,
For after today, I would see him no more.

He was sitting up, as if waiting for me;
I noticed an old familiar smile on his face.
He said, 'Soldier, I'm sure glad you came today,
For soon, ole buddy, I'll be leaving this place.

I guess you know I don't like these hospitals:
There's just too much sufferin' n' pain.
'Sides, these places stir up too many memories,
Some I've been reliving again and again.

But, Soldier, I've got a brand new assignment;
I'm goin' t' a land where there ain't no wars,
A place where the winds of peace are a'blowin'...
It's a long mission, away up b'yond the stars.

Yes, sir, I'm ready, be gone in a short while,
But there's a thing or two I'd like you to know.
You, partner, are this old soldier's best friend.
Sure gon'na miss our talks, and I've loved you so.'

As he spoke, a glow came upon his old face,
Like none that I had ever seen there before.
He said, 'Listen up, Soldier, I'm being called;
There's a messenger a'standin' at my door! '

I took his hand as he squeezed mine so tightly,
I swear, I have never seen him so at ease.
Then, his head turning, I saw him smile widely.
'The Commander's callin'... I feel heaven's breeze! '

Then just like that, that brave old soldier was gone;
I could feel his firm grip on my hand release.
I stood at full attention to salute him,
And said, 'So long, Dad... now go on... rest in peace.'


© Loyd C. Taylor, Sr.

Topic(s) of this poem: patriotic

Poem Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2014
Poem Edited: Saturday, November 14, 2020

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

One evening, after visiting a friend in the veterans' hospital, I began thinking about some of the visits that may have taken place there. Some may have been lighthearted visits, some sad, and some would be the last time they would see the loved one alive this side of heaven. I wrote the following poem after that visit and dedicate it to all of our soldiers, past and present, and all who will serve in the future. God bless you, I thank you for serving.
I do hope you enjoy it,
Loyd, the simple poet.

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Comments about An Old Soldier by Loyd C. Taylor, Sr.

  • Liilia MorrisonLiilia Morrison (12/20/2015 5:30:00 PM)

    What a beautiful and spirit filled poem this is. I can so clearly imagine the scene in the hospital. The ending is so poignant and made me shed tears. Blessings to you and for honoring the soldiers and particularly your dear departed father.

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  • Nel OmofolarinNel Omofolarin (5/29/2015 8:44:00 AM)

    Loyd,
    You are a huge inspiration to teaming generation of young versatile poets like me....and with another brilliant poem like this, your place among the best here remain unshaken... Thanks for sharing this poem. R.I.P to your friend

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  • Josey AlfredJosey Alfred (4/20/2015 11:57:00 AM)

    It's a beautiful poem. You seems to have first hand knowledge of the war theatre. Men become soldier not because he wants to die for his country, but the events may make him get hurt and even die, some only fall into this state. And those of us left behind may have sad tales to tell.Some are lucky like me. You may call it luck or fate. But life is a wonderful play. After all life is an game in unpredictable.
    Game. Truly very good write.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  • Louis RamsLouis Rams (2/19/2015 7:23:00 PM)

    when a soldiers life is through, he will sit waiting for you, he waits to say good-bye because he'll see you on the other side.

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  • Galina ItalyanskayaGalina Italyanskaya (11/10/2014 6:12:00 PM)

    Hello, Loyd!
    I much like your poem, so sincere, moving and solemn.
    Wish that place without wars to be on the earth.

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  • Melikhaya ZagaganaMelikhaya Zagagana (11/5/2014 8:09:00 AM)

    I wish the entire world community would read poems like this, to see the effort behind their safety and well being that is brought by soldiers and the pain they go through, thanks Loyd... its really insightful.

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  • Mehta Hasmukh AmathalalMehta Hasmukh Amathalal (11/1/2014 9:51:00 AM)

    I stood at full attention to salute him, .. nice tribute

    as war veteran
    i too concern
    for the safety
    and security

    we need peace
    to live at ease
    not for us
    but people around us

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  • Darlene WalshDarlene Walsh (9/10/2014 11:31:00 AM)

    I remember my grandpa talking to his other older friends. I could tell when they were reminiscing about their World War II years, they didn't want the 'kids' to hear any of their war stories. I could tell there was a special bond between them, even if they were in different places in war, or even in different wars. At his funeral, some people I've never seen before showed up simply because they were veterans coming to show there respects for a fellow veteran. I hate war but is does seem to make special bonds in the people it effects most.

    This was a beautiful, though sad poem. And it reminded me about my grandpa, so thanks.

    Darla :)

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  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (9/8/2014 5:32:00 AM)

    I stood at full attention to salute him,
    And said, 'So long, Dad... now go on... rest in peace.'

    though we don't know anything about the place or the destination that our souls have to go and rest, we all assume that place is quite nice with no war and evil..

    any way thank you for sharing such a wonderful story and I salute all soldiers of the world for their dedication and sacrifice..

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  • Piumi WijenayakePiumi Wijenayake (5/28/2014 1:27:00 PM)

    Its a lovely and a tragic poem and i think it shows us the final result of war

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  • Amitava SurAmitava Sur (5/25/2014 8:09:00 PM)

    It's a lovely poem in giving tribute to the old and veteran soldiers. I thank you profusely to remember them

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  • Margaret Alice SecondMargaret Alice Second (5/25/2014 8:58:00 AM)

    A very fluent and polished poem, an excellent execution and presentation and conveys the camaraderie between soldiers every well.

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  • Roseann Shawiak (5/24/2014 4:53:00 AM)

    Wow totally intense imagery and expression! ! Outstanding poem - 10 -10s for this one.
    A truly fantastic tribute to vets everywhere, brought tears to my eyes. My Dad was a
    vet, is image came to my mind at the last verse. Thank you for a truly great poetical
    masterpiece.

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  • Leah AyliffeLeah Ayliffe (5/22/2014 3:04:00 PM)

    what a great poem! loved the imagery

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (5/22/2014 4:43:00 AM)

    Great piece of work. Thanks for sharing this poem with us; and, great thanks to the men of valour. Even though, it is not easy with the muse of war.

    E.K.L.

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  • Peter StrugnellPeter Strugnell (5/22/2014 1:45:00 AM)

    i enjoyed this very much, the conversational style enabled me to put myself in the place of the author.

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  • Joseph T. RenaldiJoseph T. Renaldi (5/21/2014 4:52:00 PM)

    I acknowledge your request to read your poem titled An Old Soldier. The poem was well written and all veterans should have an opportunity to read it. Take care.
    Respectfully,
    Joseph T. Renaldi

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  • Tadasha Tripathy (5/21/2014 1:40:00 AM)

    It's the reality and a natural truth. I liked reading it. Thanks.
    .

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  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (5/20/2014 11:21:00 PM)

    i like this a lot. and the ending caught me by surprise, though it fits what was said at the beginning about the visitor's feelings as he walked down the hallway toward the patient's room. i like the rhyming and the story.

    i think this could be replayed with people who have never been in the military (as i have not) , but i'm sure many military lives and relationships would cause such feelings as well, especially involving 'soldiers' who had been in conflict. well done. a good tribute to veterans........and dads....and friends. thanks for sharing. bri :) . .

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  • Colleen Courtney (5/20/2014 4:01:00 PM)

    A beautiful and heart wrenching write which brings a tear to the eye of even the most hard hearted. Also the perfect poem to remind all of us to remember those who have served and continue to serve not just this Memorial day, but every day. For they don't put their lives on the line on just one or two special days a year but every day of the year. A very fine write you've penned Lloyd! Kudos to you! ! !

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