our boys

Oddly, what brought me to tears over Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, the three kidnapped Israeli boys, is from another religious tradition already. John Gorka based his “Let Them in, Peter” on a poem found in a Philippine hospital during WWII:

Let them in, Peter
They are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires

Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired by the sun not wartime’s
Bloody guns

May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die
God knows how young they were
To have to die

So give them things they like
Let them make some noise
Give dance hall bands not golden harps
To these our boys

And let them love, Peter
For they’ve had no time
They should have trees and bird songs
And hills to climb

The taste of summer in a ripened pear
And girls sweet as meadow wind
With flowing hair

And tell them how they are missed
But say not to fear
It’s gonna be alright
With us down here

Let them in, Peter
Let them in, Peter
Let them in, Peter

And hoping I don’t have to call to mind the words Tommy Sands wrote about yet another war: “another eye for another eye / ’til everyone is blind”. (My brain’s other native language is song lyrics, apparently, and it retreats there in times of emotion – witness the singing of Sunrise, Sunset at my Dad’s funeral. One advantage of a blog is being able to speak in them.)

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