The Beckoning Poetry Post Page

Poetry by Laurel A. Olmsted

Added 13 July 2005

This is a section where I post poems sent to me by people who have found my site and wish to display their own works. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

This poem is by Laurel A. Olmsted

Standing in line at the grocery store
Thinking about dinner, work, and
Many other important things I am sure.

I heard a little voice from behind
"Hey Mister," she said, "What happened to your leg?"
You could of heard a pin drop there in that line.

I tried to keep looking straight ahead
Not wanting the mom to see my embarrassment
For what her little girl had just said.

It was evident to me that the man was in pain.
He was just learning how to get around in a chair.
But because of what happened next, I'll never be the same.

He turned to the girl and took her little hand.
He told her that he had been injured in combat,
And someday he hoped she would understand.

He told her not to be afraid-it didn't hurt that bad.
He said he'd been a soldier and he did the best that he could.
But now he got to be home and just be a plain old dad.

The little girl jumped up and down---a huge smile upon her face,
And with the innocence of youth,
Gave all of us a glimpse of God's great gift of grace.

"OHHH!" She exclaimed, "My daddy's a soldier too!
Mommy says we must be brave and help him with his job.
He's helping other kids do things they could never do.

Kids like me can go to school and learn to write their name.
My daddy's gonna help them get some freedom
From a bad man named Hussein.

Do you know my daddy Mr. Soldier man?
My daddy is a medic---that's kinda like a doctor.
If anyone could fix your leg, I know my daddy can."

Now we were all just standing there.
I had tears running down my cheeks.
The clerk took time to wipe her eyes and no one seemed to care.

For nothing seemed to matter much any more.
A soldier and a child were center stage
And it was touching to the core.

The soldier smiled and he turned his head away.
"Oh yes, I met your daddy and this is what he said,
'When you get home tell my little girl I thought of her today.

Tell her that I love her and daddy's doing good.
That kids here are learning to play fun games
Like children always should.

Tell her I'll be home soon to tuck her in at night.
To read her lots of bedtime stories,
And to teach her how to write.'

The soldier reached into his almost empty shopping cart
And pulled out one fresh red rose.
"Your daddy said it's for your mom-to hold it to her heart.

Whenever she is missing him and sad
She should just hold this rose
And maybe she'll feel glad."

"Oh Mommy!" squealed the little girl with glee.
"Look what daddy sent to you and even though
He's far away, he's still taking care of you and me."

The young mother took the rose and touched the soldiers' hand.
"How can I thank you for this,
And thank you for your service in protecting our US land?"

The soldier said that he'd had plenty thanks enough.
He only hoped things would be easier.
With a husband away he knew it must be rough.

He was happy to be home with his kids and wife.
A lost leg would be a small cost.
At least he had his life.

He told the mom he'd pray for them all.
That he hoped the war would be over soon
And that another soldier wouldn't fall.

She bent down and hugged him tight.
We all watched the mother and daughter
As they walked out the door and out of sight.

The little girl was skipping by her momma's side.
Clenched tight in her hand was the fresh red rose.
And her heart held her daddy's message way down deep inside.

As if by cue, the clerk turned back to her work.
We all were changed by what we had seen.
People were real people, not an injured soldier or a grocery clerk.

I picked up my bag and said, "Thank you Sue."
She looked up, surprised,
And said, "No Ma'm, thank you."

Who would of thought so much could take place?
In a simple act of getting groceries,
A soldier and a little girl taught us some grace.

Laurel A. Olmsted