I'll Come Back, I will!

Submitted by Libby on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 18:39

There at the door he stands with hope,
A lad of fourteen, tall and broad;
He knows not to what end he goes,
To take the ship that sails abroad—
That sails to places without hope.
Yet when he sees the pain that shows
On tender Mother’s brow so still,
He kisses her and softly says
“Dear Mother, I’ll come back, I will!”

Now on the ship, once dry eyes full,
He fiercely blinks and lifts his head,
Vows to return, whate’er the cost.
Already life looks bleak ahead
And weariness now takes its toll.
The scene keeps coming back to mind:
His little mother waiting ‘til
He returns, reminds himself
“Dear Mother, I’ll come back, I will!”

As years go by, and winters leave
A man is now in place of boy;
A steady man with stalwart mind,
The army fails still to destroy
The love his heart did once conceive.
His mother’s letters, full of hope,
They moderate his stubborn will;
He still repeats that noble phrase,
“Dear Mother, I’ll come back, I will!”

On Sunday morn, this man you’ll find,
Sharp, frozen fear shoots down his spine.
His thoughts on Mother dear are fixed,
The gentle woman he calls “mine”,
So sweet and patient, good and kind—
An urgent note was sent that day
Dear Mother is now deathly ill
Those loving words recalled with haste
“Dear Mother, I’ll come back, I will!”

A lonely house sits by alone,
Our man stares at the empty place,
The home that he once called his own;
A grieved look etched on his face
His mother gone, now cold as stone.
Now loath is he to say those words,
That fine farewell to her he bid;
The only words he finds to say—
“Dear Mother, I came back, I did!”

Author's age when written