Singer, Soldier, Spirit
Joe hid from August's soul-oppressing heat,Mick McKellar
Inside the entrance to the local mall.
He watched a terrified boy from his seat,
Stumble in through the door and nearly fall.
When something in the frightened young man's eyes,
Caused him to shiver, he rose to his feet;
And then, despite the boy's desperate cries,
Pushed him outside, into the August heat.
Trying to break free and to run inside,
The young man twisted, turned, and pushed away.
And Joe saw what the boy had tried to hide:
Explosives, and a vest to shrapnel spray!
Joe grabbed him tighter, told people to run,
And dragged him out into the parking lot.
Then stood there, swaying in the burning sun
And laughed — to find himself in such a spot!
The boys eyes had gone bloodshot, wide and wild,
He started gulping air and tensed to run.
And Joe prayed: "Lord please help me save this child,
A child, as much a weapon as a gun!"
A bullet pierced Joe's shirt and then his breast,
And waves of pain exploded in his mind.
He loosed the boy when blood sprayed from his chest.
He felt the pavement slap him from behind.
A cop ran up with anger on his face,
And shouting words and phrases memorized.
He glared at me in my protected space,
And far too late, I think he realized.
He realized that I was not the threat.
He realized the kid was wired to blow.
His sad eyes said that he owed me a debt,
And realized he had nowhere to go.
The cop dove as the kid blew up his vest,
His body sheltered me from shrapnel fire.
He jerked as shrapnel tore his head and chest,
And movement stopped as I felt him expire.
The smoke and dust suspended in the air,
Hung motionless in silence so profound,
It shocked me when a voice both strong and fair,
Became the rich and lovely — only — sound.
A man dressed as a Minstrel walked to me,
And touched the cop, who rose and walked aside.
"I pray there is no pain!" He said, "You see,
The officer, the boy, and you all died."
That what I did saved lives he shared with me.
The cop reacted as he had been taught.
The boy was told he'd save his family,
And go to Heaven, just as he had sought.
The Minstrel sang some songs of strength and might.
He showed us all the paths to our reward.
And, as we left I saw the strangest sight:
The Minstrel leaving — this time, with a sword...
Music may also inspire justice.