Robert Eckstein


Padre - Poem by Robert Eckstein

That afternoon, the day before
I went back into the field,
The Padre called us all together
For 'Just a few, simple words'.
We sat around him in the grass.
He said he knew we might not all come back
And would hear confessions later in the day.
He said, 'Remember this:
'There are things much worse for you than dying,
'And something far, far better for you than this life.
'But do take care. You know I'll pray for you'.

And brave. You don't know how brave I thought he was.
He had been there, done that. Was a Veteran himself.
He knew the smoke and blood and fear.
He had blessed the soldiers in their alloy caskets in the plane
As they began their long, last journey Home.
And every day, he had to stand and look God in the Face.

That was many years agu, and he was an old man then.
He long since has made his own last journey Home.
But his words are still a part of me,
And though I never knew his given name,
I still remember him whenever I am touched by fear.

Topic(s) of this poem: courage, faith, fear, war


Poet's Notes about The Poem

True story. See also 'The Wounded Soldier'.

Comments about Padre by Robert Eckstein

  • Paul Warren (5/26/2015 8:16:00 PM)


    Thanks for your poem and sharing your experiences. Please read A whisper on a summer breeze. This is dedicated to the WW1 Soldiers lost in my family and a WW1 War Widow who struggled after losing her husband early to throat cancer - Government did not recognise this until 1970's - I remember her telling my mother how it was too late then when she needed the help with raising her family by herself in the late 1920's and 1930's. This is an indictment on us as a nation we let this happen. (Report) Reply

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  • Kelly Kurt (4/3/2015 9:30:00 PM)


    A wonderful poem, Robert. Thank you for sharing (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 3, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 29, 2015


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