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.
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