Poetry Entry 4: Foster Father


There was a certain poor family

with a brood of children,

the newest child just days old.

The father worked night and day

just to see that they had enough to eat.

One evening upon returning home for supper

the tired father took his despair to the road

and asked the first person he met

to foster one of his children.

The first person was a soldier,

dusty from his travels but in good humor.

Will you, good sir, foster one of my children,

the child you think would best suit

you, your needs, your pursuits

to feed, clothe and raise as one of your own?

 

I will, stated the man.

By my side, your child will gain

skills, fame and fortune.

 

Who are you, gracious benefactor?

 

I am Ares, Champion of Zeus,

Master of Arms and protective father of many.

It will not be an easy life, for war is hell

and many will look down upon him

for times of peace erase memories quickly.

Your child will learn to move, like a dancer,

the better to avoid an enemy’s strike.

Your child will learn how to use weapons,

for both killing and defending of self and others.

Your child will learn how to feed,

supply and lead an army, not from the head,

but by getting dirty with the least of them.

Your child will learn when to force a matter

and when to leave quietly, to fight another day.

Your child will learn when to rebel

and when to uphold civil order.

Your child will learn about courage and fear,

panic and perseverance, sex and love.

Your child will learn about life and death,

the enduring love of fellow warriors and

the heartbreak of civilian distrust.

 

The father bowed his head, in thought.

Will you love my child?

 

I will love your child, but do not be mistaken,

for my love is a harsh love

and my path is a bloody one.

If your child gives me their trust and

obeys me truly and faithfully,

I will never fail to do my best for them.

 

That is all a father can ask.

 

***

By A.J.E.B.

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5 comments on “Poetry Entry 4: Foster Father

  1. Patricia says:

    Wow, thank you, this was really touching, it actually made me tear up.

  2. Edward says:

    This one is a hard-hitter. Thank you for this.

  3. […] winning poetry entry was “Foster Father” by AJ […]

  4. Aj / Melia says:

    Reblogged this on 4 of Wands and commented:
    I have just been informed that my poem won Pete’s writing contest in honor of Ares, our soldiers and Military Appreciation Month. I’m amazed and thankful for there were some great entries! Hail Ares!

  5. Lina says:

    Oh wow….Amazing. I honestly loved this. <33

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