Called to War

Called to War

A Poem by Eric J. Kingsepp

"Pray for me that this great conflict / Should not have broken me in vain."


We are so small, you and I.

In the face of history,

The fires of self-governance in the souls of men,

Plays for power and the movements of armies

Do not stop to consult

A poor husband and hopeful father

Before they wrench him from life’s pursuits

And cast him into that cold unstoppable flood

To be cleansed by the waters of war

From attachment to all life’s joys,

Molded into a proper tool of power,

Made to march and bear his burdens,

To carry them as if part of his very life--

His canteen, rifle, pack, and (most grave of all)

His shackles--

Those bands that strain as far

And farther than he can bear

Being stretched from his loves.

I am, my love, overstretched

And seemingly broken to this world.

This war is become my perverse purgatory,

An end to hope but not to toil,

For what is best in me is burned away

And I am left almost despairing.


My darling love, my life, my better self

So far away upon this earth,

If there is hope for me,

Who am not suited to serving history

But only you, and sharing with you

The pursuit of our highest happiness,

If I, my love, should yet outlive this day,

Pray for me that this great conflict

Should not have broken me in vain.

Pray that God may grant me still

To be rebuilt,

And return to you a better man,

Or if I must, to wait for you with Him.

© 2018 Eric J. Kingsepp

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Added on January 13, 2018
Last Updated on January 16, 2018
Tags: war, love, heaven