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Tribute to an Army Wife

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It is our 10-year anniversary.

The kids are sound asleep.

She gently leads me by my hand to the bedroom.

In my mind ideas swirl.

What selfish carnal pleasures await me this night?

She sits me down on the chair, lowers to her knees

and begins to wash my feet.

Dear Lord, she is washing my feet?

What a beautiful picture of grace.

I struggle daily, and often fail, to keep my mind and spirit pure.

Yet she washes my feet.

I struggle daily, and often fail, to be a good example for my children.

Yet she washes my feet.

I struggle daily, and often fail, to be a steward of the provisions you have given me.

Yet she washes my feet.

In the last 10 years, she has sent me to war 3 times.

Each time knowing I may not return.

In the last 10 years, she has contained her emotions

While our children ask “What if the bad guys win?”

In the last 10 years, she has packed a house to move

While I am away in another country.

In the last 10 years, she has carried 4 of my children

Without me there to help her.

In the last 10 years, she has never complained

About wearing old, worn clothing.

In the last 10 years, she has never groaned

That we have an empty refrigerator.

In the last 10 years, she has never lamented

That she doesn’t live a more comfortable life.

In the last 10 years, she has never failed

To support my choice of profession.

How many times, O Lord

Have I told you I don’t deserve her?

How many times, O Lord

Have I told you she doesn’t deserve me?

How many times, O Lord

Have I told you she would be better off elsewhere?

Yet this righteous woman remains,

Kneeling before me,

Washing my feet.

Is this what grace is?

Will I ever comprehend the depth of this gift?

I cannot conceive such a wonderful gift, that I am so unworthy of.

This gift is bitter-sweet, as it brings with it great agony.

To be reminded daily how wicked and unworthy I am.

It is hard to decide which is greater, the rose or the thorn?

As I sit, looking down at this partner you have given me.

I know I will never be worthy of your love, or hers.

In all my labor, the best I can do

Is to offer my humble thanks.

Comments (11)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Very redeeming piece... poets sometimes focus too much on the negative in the human experience, myself included.

Joshua Hennen
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Thanks for the kind words, Joshua. Never thought of myself as any form of poet, but I suppose I have my reflective moments from time to time. I'm generally an upbeat person, so most of my work likely reflects it. More work (at least 1 piece)...

Thanks for the kind words, Joshua. Never thought of myself as any form of poet, but I suppose I have my reflective moments from time to time. I'm generally an upbeat person, so most of my work likely reflects it. More work (at least 1 piece) is forthcoming.

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crazymoses
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Indeed as we grapple with life, there is much to be grateful for. Thanks for reminding me of that.

a
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This is a wonderfully emotional piece, life and love are so complicated some times and you have captured it well.

Tsnclr
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I think this is one of the very best pieces I have ever read on this site, and I am not exaggerating. It reflects something so much deeper than the words used to express the actual thoughts, but an entire way of thinking that is very refreshing...

I think this is one of the very best pieces I have ever read on this site, and I am not exaggerating. It reflects something so much deeper than the words used to express the actual thoughts, but an entire way of thinking that is very refreshing and inspiring. -Soulja4Alethia

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Soulja4Alethia
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I often wondered why poets (including myself) focus too much on the negative part of human experience as well. Personally, I've tried to write bunnies and sunshine poetry but it is never as good or effective. Also when things go stunningly well...

I often wondered why poets (including myself) focus too much on the negative part of human experience as well. Personally, I've tried to write bunnies and sunshine poetry but it is never as good or effective. Also when things go stunningly well for me, I don't feel like sitting down and cranking out a piece. So what is it with melancoly that brings out the writer?

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WhisperSage
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Well, WhisperSage, I can't speak for "writers", as I don't really consider myself one through and through. To me, perhaps it's just outlook. I try my best to enjoy life and take nothing for granted. I think most people tend to only be...

Well, WhisperSage, I can't speak for "writers", as I don't really consider myself one through and through. To me, perhaps it's just outlook. I try my best to enjoy life and take nothing for granted. I think most people tend to only be reflective when things are bad and we're feeling sorry for ourselves. In my own personal experience, going to the middle-east and seeing how the rest of the world lives really helps me put things in perspective. Not to sound harsh, but I believe we Westerners haven't really seen poverty or hardship compared with how the majority of this world lives. Seeing how the world really lives (not to mention coming to terms with the fragility of my own life) has helped me to take NOTHING for granted. Not to dimish everyone's troubles, but when I put things in proper perspective it helps me have a different world view. Perhaps I should put this "soapbox pondering" in the spoken word category. Forgive the rambling.

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crazymoses
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I think that you shouldn't sell yourself short as a writer, you obviously have a gift for it based off this piece. I also think that your experiences in life and war are a lot more real then many of the underemployed arts and literary types...

I think that you shouldn't sell yourself short as a writer, you obviously have a gift for it based off this piece. I also think that your experiences in life and war are a lot more real then many of the underemployed arts and literary types trying to hack it out there have ever gone through (myself included), giving your writing a more honest perspective. Keep going!

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Tsnclr
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Thanks for the encouragement, T. (I promise I wasn't fishing for it) I'm going back to school and I'd definitely like to get more formal training on literature. Having a knack for words is great, but without education and understanding of...

Thanks for the encouragement, T. (I promise I wasn't fishing for it) I'm going back to school and I'd definitely like to get more formal training on literature. Having a knack for words is great, but without education and understanding of composition I feel like I'm sword fighting with a dagger. It's definitely something I enjoy though.

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crazymoses
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Those are the elements reflected in this piece that make it so worthwhile and refreshing in a world of complaining despite so many blessings. I don't think anyone pretends America is perfect or even close to it but we fail to realize just how...

Those are the elements reflected in this piece that make it so worthwhile and refreshing in a world of complaining despite so many blessings. I don't think anyone pretends America is perfect or even close to it but we fail to realize just how great we have it, the sacrifices that have secured it, and the need to realize what we are fighting for to preserve and expand it. Thank you, truly. -Soulja4Alethia

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Soulja4Alethia
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