The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?’

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘No Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because those of us who carry guns
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected, or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod,
As the soldier waited quietly
For the judgement of his God.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets.
You’ve done your time in Hell.’

—Author unknown.

Posted on 31 December 2019

Rest in peace:

Adam Piotrzkiewicz, died on 24 December 2019, aged 92;
Władysław Błażków, died on 8 May, 2019, aged 97;
Bronisław Bojanowski, died on 22 October, 2016, aged 90;
Władysław Piotrkowski, died on 1 February 2015, aged 91.

Their stories on our War Veterans page.

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