Cherished thoughts of home,
Warm hearth – family nearby,
He has seen the face of war,
The romance replaced by reality,
Each day passes with a prayer,
He may yet make it home to see her face again.
Until that day doth duty call,
This night – cold and bitter,
His turn to face the dark,
Straining into the night for movement,
Diligence to keep others safe,
This lonely place here in the woods.
Something moves in the darkness,
Up ahead – almost out of sight,
His grip tightens on his rifle,
Staring just to right or left to make clear,
Takes a couple slow steps closer,
Relaxes it’s the wind on tree bough.
Alertness must be kept,
Never relax – never assume,
He knows death can be near,
Others have been lost here when not aware,
A single mistake or lapse of attention,
One shot in the dark could summon the reaper.
No relief from the cold,
All night – neither day,
He shivers in his worn uniform,
Winter wind cuts deep to the bone,
The frozen earth gives no respite,
On picket this lonely soldier’s post.