I never knew my father was a poet. He left school in eighth grade to go to work in the coal mines to help support his family. He was drafted into the Navy in his twenties, the first married man to be drafted in his small hometown. He left the Navy with disabilities that would plague him for the rest of his life. Despite that, he loved his country, as evidenced by this poem I discovered after he died.
THE LAST SOLDIER
By: Carl Eartman Canfield
Bent and weary with hair of gray, an ancient soldier stands,
remembering a time gone by, he served in no man’s land.
A member of our noble youth, a terror to Berlin,
he filled the skies with fire and death, soared high above the din.
He toils no more in cruel war, but prays for those who can,
for those who still leave home and hearth to serve in foreign lands.
A spark of pride lights up his face as memory glows bright.
The wrath of time escapes his lips, restores his will to fight.
O, Hitler, not for all your gold or all your stolen lands,
would I betray my stars and stripes, desert my fellow man.
While I can draw a final breath or pull a trigger straight,
I’ll speak for comrades that I loved who died for freedom’s sake.
May judgement someday let me hear their faithful marching feet.
If this request be granted me, would be a life complete.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning poet and author of four children’s books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; a book of poetry, Tapestry; and a new travel book, Road Trip. Her poems are also included in an anthology, Captured Moments. All of these books are available on Amazon or from the author.