C. Douglas Caffey


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: January 17, 2004
Awarded: January 17, 2004
I met you at your site today,
though you did not see me there…
yet I saw your soul in war’s pungent cordite air.
I walked among the dead soldiers
and heard their groans and dying wishes…
too late to say good-bye to sweethearts… wives… and mothers…
too late… waited too long…
now time is gone… forever gone.

Good-bye darkness… farewell comrades.
Both dog tags are around my neck… what the heck!
I’ll walk barefoot in freshly plowed fields no more;
will not see the old home place with all the flowers planted round…
and will not taste the cool water from the well and hope that I don’t go to Hell.
I’ll wait right here where I have cried and died…
Waiting for some angels in robes of white to snatch my soul from this dark night.

Is that music which I hear, falling softly on my ear?
Is that a heavenly band coming to this war-torn and bloody land?
I’m over here… half hidden in this hole,
at least part of my body and all of my soul.
I’d raise my hand if I could…

Do you see me lying here, but I’m not alone for my bloody buddy is close by…
I heard him cry out before he bowed out and died.
The celestial music… I hear it plain and clear.
God’s angels are gathering near……
Farewell mangled body of this earthly tent,
Lift your cold eyes to see which way I went…
upward to the skies like a jet with heavenly messengers sent
from the throne of God… no more to fight and war upon the sod where I was born…

I do believe I see that Eternal City and there stands Gabriel with his golden horn…
I heard that preacher man talk of Gabriel and his horn
and I thought he was jus’ kiddin’ that Sunday morn…
but it’s real! It’s real!
Hello Jesus! I knew You’d come for me when my time was up.
Will You answer one belated prayer I couldn’t finish just before I died?
Tell my sweet Mama that I’m home! I’m really home!
Thank You Jesus! Happy day! Happy day!
When Jesus washed my sins away!
I’ve joined that glorious band
and forever take my stand.

Good-bye darkness!
So long ‘Mares of the Night’ for it is forever day
here where I shall forever stay…
and God’s angels shall keep the Mares at bay.
No more bones in the sand scattered over strange sounding island lands.
No more scenes from war shall haunt my sleep.

Good-bye PTSD, for God has forever set me free.
Tony, Nancy, Faye, I’ll be waiting for the day
when God’s angels shall whisk you away
to this glorious land where there are no tears
and there are no fears
and we shall all sing a New Song never sung
and He shall give us a New Name… just as He promised!
Sweet Beulah Land!

Sweet… sweet Beulah Land!