‘Come home safe’ – a prayer for soldiers
Come home safe
I watch your back, your purposeful stride
Your broad, strong shoulders, and I’m filled with pride.
I wait in silence, till you’re out of sight,
Then I take a deep breath, it’s like a stinging bite,
And as I can’t wait to see you again,
I’ll count the days, between now and then.
Keep your mind fixed on the dangers you face
Go in peace, my son, and come home safe.
I’ve been in the army, I’ve fought in a war,
That sense of mission, what we’re doing it for.
You’re ready for battle, for which you were trained,
That knot in your stomach that’s hard to explain.
Be on your guard, and when you must, fight,
But knowing the danger, I sleep lighter at night.
I imagine you out there, on patrol or on base,
And all that I’m thinking, is just come home safe.
And while I nag you with WhatsApp, which I always do,
And you probably think, “Enough, I really must go”.
But, you see, I have no other way,
To express my love, and fears I daren’t say.
These messages thus, will always be,
Hurried, and brief, unsatisfactory.
I can only imagine the dangers you face,
Do what you must, but come home safe.
- Zimbabwean-born Paul Mirbach moved to Cape Town at 16, and matriculated at Herzlia School. In 1982, he made aliya to Kibbutz Tuval, which was then a new kibbutz he helped build. He served in the Israel Defense Forces, participating in the first Lebanon War.