Footsteps at the Door

Footsteps at the Door

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

Footsteps at the Door

Another sleepless night for me
Alone upon our bed
I see again his every move
And those last words he said.

So proud he looked in uniform
Convinced that he was right
He had to go, for duty called
There was a war to fight.

Those last few days before he left
I hid the pain inside
We talked and loved and even joked
He never knew I cried.

And when the dreaded moment came
He kissed me tenderly
His eyes met mine, and then he said,
“I’ll be all right, you’ll see.”

I tried to smile and nod my head
Afraid to let him see
The terror that I feared if he
Did not come back to me.

His precious children hugged his neck
He told them to be good
And help their mommy out at home
And mind her like they should.

They were too young to realize
That Dad would not be there
To tuck them in their beds at night
Or listen to their prayers.

I see him as he walked away
I tried to say “good-bye”
But words were trapped within my throat
All I could do was cry.

The weeks have stretched now into months
And every night I pray
That God will keep him in his care
And bring him home one day.

I do not moan beneath the load
Of all that I must do
My children will see strength in me
Until this war is through.

At last I drift off into sleep
In dreams I see him more
I turn around and smile to hear
His footsteps at the door.

Restless I sleep, and then I wake
Not opening my eyes
I move my hand to reach for him
But no one near me lies.

I will not give in to despair
With each new day I’ll cope
For I know he would want me to
Be brave and live with hope.

I hear the voices loud and strong
Who criticize the war
While yelling men are fools to go
They stay on freedom’s shore.

A man who cowers under fear
Will die a thousand deaths
While men like mine for freedom fight
And offer their last breaths.

I hope perhaps in fifty years
When men remember war
They won’t forget the wives who dreamed
Of footsteps at the door.

Gwen C. Rollings

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