I remember one night in the long ago,
My trench taking water, it rained, you know.
Only thing dry was the top of my head,
Helmet, my pillow, for imperfect bed!
Fully clothed, of course, not much there,
Combat boots, helmet, the important fare.
Burp-gun tucked beneath my arm that was it!
All I needed out there to keep fit!
But not dry, foot of water helmet high.
Ears out of water only kept dry,
Needed sleep! I prayed, what else was there?
Suddenly warmed! How – what – compare?
Angel? But who then had time to think?
All of us same we got used to stink!
Someone built a fire as morning broke clear,
Had coffee, led patrol nothing to fear!
Except bullets enemy always hanging around!
Wounded, killed what else can be found?
Spray the whole area, then trudge back to camp.
What more can be done? Shoot, loose, tramp!
Many nights since than when sleep evades,
Until the early morning, rest delays.
I remember protection so long ago,
Miraculously dodging the shell bullet flow.
Why this subsequent shelter from harm?
Preaching, the travel involved no alarm.
Why am I then so early retired?
To write poetry so long desired!
My first love, poetry, so few people read!
My sole satisfaction my life long need,
To create to rhyme someday perhaps
Offspring get help before they lapse.
Lapse into forthcoming leisure loss of mind
Treasure the nuggets of wisdom they find,
And need to guide to the very end!
The Trumpet! The Lord! His host to defend!
Am I ready? Then, Lord! Take me I plead!
As all through life, you have met my need.
Angel who warmed me that night long ago,
That caring Angel, I will surely know!
Up there that one I meet perhaps not too far.
“You–You warmed me! Oh, yes you are!”
Smiling both nodding we recognize!
Often time protected no surprise!
No surprise either that fair smiling face!
Suppose that is another meaning for Grace!
My Angel then introduces me
To Jesus whose presence I will forever see!
Sam Cox 11.22.08