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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: Of Foxholes And Angels And Sickness and War
By Mariane Holbrook


Weakened and thirsty I could not go on,
I’d crawled through this desert too long.
My heart seemed so empty, my soul scorched with fear
And through it all, I’d lost my song.

“This war can’t continue,” I said to myself.
“They told us the end is in sight.”
I saw buddies dying from torture and wounds
While we prayed for the cover of night.

Alone in my foxhole, too weary to eat
The chow meant to keep us alive.
My canteen was empty; I fingered the rim
To find enough drink to survive.

I looked at the festering sore on my leg
And cringed; the infection had spread.
I wiped the dried blood with the tail of my shirt,
Overcome with a feeling of dread.

“Oh, Lord!” I cried out in the blackness of night,
Exhaustion was muffling my cry.
“I register ‘empty’ throughout all my frame;
Without You, I know I shall die.”

I lay there inert knowing death hovered o’er
When suddenly to my surprise,
I heard running water but no one was there.
Is this what it’s like when one dies?

A translucent hand held my canteen upright
And poured water up to the brim.
I drank to the bottom then reached for some more,
Still shaking, I tried to thank him.

I felt the cool liquid spread out through my veins
As my parched lips kept begging for more
While the Angel removed all my stained, tattered clothes
And washed away all signs of war.

He dressed my leg wound and massaged my sore feet
Til I felt all the tension had fled;
Then he dressed me in clothes that were white as the snow.
I was clean, I felt full, I’d been fed.

“Your prayers have been answered,” he smiled down at me.
“You’re ready to make that last flight.
The blessed Lord Jesus has sent me for you;
You’re going Home to heaven tonight!”

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This article has been read 927 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 06/11/09
This poem is right on topic, perfect in rhyme and meter. I was sad and happy for this soldier--sad that he died--happy his eternal home was heaven. Great writing.
Beth LaBuff 06/12/09
Wow, what a story woven in this poem. What poignant writing! I was transported.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/12/09
What a beautiful narrative you've presented--creative,emotional,inspirational with excellent word choices.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/13/09
...And I forgot to add that I love the tenderness of the ending with the glorious hope in the message.
Lisa Johnson06/13/09
Awesome...I could see the soldier in all of his misery, then the ministering angel. What a touching portrayal of how GOD's grace is sufficient to fill our empty cups to overflowing. Thank you.
Sharon Kane06/14/09
Very well written, and a very beautiful expression of the hope we have of a life where there will no more pain, or sorrow, or sickness, or death. Thank you.
Chely Roach06/14/09
Lovely...what a wonderful poem. Well done.
Betty Castleberry06/15/09
Wonderful description. I could see it all and was right there with the soldier.

This has an excellent message as well. We are never alone, even when we are scared, wounded or hurting.

Very well done.
Pat Guy 06/15/09
I loved where this poem went as well as the voice throughout. Great job Mariane! The 10 months did you no harm girl!
Carol Slider 06/15/09
This reminded me of visiting the World War I museum in Kansas City! Your strong images vividly convey the despair of the battlefield, and the glorious resolution for the dying soldier.
Sonya Leigh06/15/09
Great poem. It reads so much like a story--a well written, to the point story with great descriptions--that packs a big punch in so few words. Good job.
Bryan Ridenour06/15/09
Great poem and wonderful rhyme. Super story told and a wonderful picture of what it may be like to go "Home".
Edy T Johnson 06/15/09
I read and marvel how you find just the right words to fit perfectly the rhythm, the story and the message.
Lollie Hofer06/15/09
You could sense this soldier's hopelessness. At first, I thought he was going to be rescued. I guess in a way he was...rescued, saved, healed and in the presencee of Jesus. What a great narrative.
Mona Purvis06/15/09
"And washed away all signs of war" Oh, how I love that line! He will, won't He?
Loved this so very much.
Catrina Bradley 06/15/09
Oh, wow! Welcome back in a BIG way! Sad, mourning, happy, rejoicing..and everything in between. You took me through the gamut with this inspired poem. Wonderful work.
Gerald Shuler 06/17/09
This is written with the sensitivity of someone who has spent time in a foxhole. My favorite line was about taking away all signs of war. Love it.
Sara Harricharan 06/17/09
Love your title and the way you cover every single thing mentioned inside of it. It was truly bittersweet! I loved it!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/18/09
Mariane, I'm so glad this tender, very well written entry was in EC. You haven't lost your touch!
Catrina Bradley 06/18/09
So glad to see this poem "up there". You deserve this win!!!
Eliza Evans 06/18/09
How very creative to make a poem while telling this story.
Wonderful and meaningful!

Congratulations on your EC, too. :)