Heaven Held Him

Suited for battle, laden with gear.
Trained for war, no room for fear.

Sand in his helmet, sand in his feet.
Picking up comrades who are now just meat.

“Hold the wall!”, ringing in his ears.
No memory left of chasing women with beers.

Too loud to think with explosions and plink, plink.
Smoke fills the room and floors begin to sink.

Shoot our way in, shoot our way out.
Too many bodies and begging replaces shouts.

Now a distant memory, but weighing on him still.
Too loud the echoes of that blood-soaked hill.

Brought home by the wings of angels,
Now sharpened by pains and full of angles.

Never to be right again,
But told to rejoice in the win.

“What have we won?” is the question he struggles to hide,
and “Thanks for your service” now seems too snide.

His weapon is serviced and placed to his lips.
The bullets won’t fire from any of his clips.

He lifts his eyes with great surprise to see God holding out his hands.
He pleads, “See my pain for all I have done, tell me you understand.”

The Father embraces him, allows him to cry.
“You are only a man, no matter how hard you try.”

The sand in his heart may never release,
but the Father walks with him to grant him some peace.