A Hero's Heartbeat
He lay his head on a cold, snowy bench,Mick McKellar
Under a lamppost in the city park.
His worn, unwashed clothes had a musky stench,
So folks left him alone there, in the dark.
The stone bench was hard, but the snow was soft,
And he hardly felt the cold anymore.
When his eyes closed, dreams carried him aloft,
Where his legs and back were no longer sore.
As over the frozen pond he drifted,
He turned to look back at his silent form,
Under a blanket, as soft snow sifted
So gently, slowly — a peaceful snow storm.
He heard his heart beat, out over the lake,
Its uncertain rhythm marking his fight,
As winter attempted his life to take,
And he fought on, alone on Christmas night.
A flash of green light brought his spirit back,
To hover once more near his sleeping clay.
A green man pulled a guitar from his pack,
Sat by a green fire, and started to play.
He drifted close, to hear the Minstrel croon
Sweet songs, to sooth a long forgotten soul,
In silvery light from the winter moon,
And soon they achieved their intended goal.
The Minstrel suddenly stopped his sweet song,
And a deep silence enveloped the night.
He knew in an instant, something was wrong:
His heartbeat had given up its long fight.
The Minstrel stood, and saluting with grace,
Said, "Sergeant, it's time that I took you home.
Your dress uniform is back in its place,
And your spirit no longer has to roam."
He smiled because he would suffer no more.
And a soldier entered the golden door.
It is a tragedy that any who fought for our freedoms, should suffer in the cold and die in despair.