Home After The Battles - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
He'd walked a thousand miles,
shot in the back near Petersburg,
and brought the Russian bullet home.
His path led by the doctor's home
he would not stop as finer things
awaited at her castle, near the church.
With borrowed strength fell in the door
and 'home at last' rolled of his lips,
frostbitten ears took in the sound
and all the meaning of it, before he did,
another warrior had arrived before
and Welcome was reserved for only one.
He did not worry that the bullet caused,
in just three days a poisoned blood
and gangrenous disintegration.
The stash of hidden bottles had remained,
unfound and unappreciated until today.
Surrounded by a dozen empty ones
they found him with the happy smile
he had reserved and carried through
the steppes on his journey, for her.
The preacher said that stress of war
and what the soldiers saw out in
the battlefield, was often way too much.
But he remained quite still and kept his smile.
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