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"Summoned by the King"

by William Kite from Glenwood, Iowa

Poem by William Kite
Awakened from a sound sleep
By the pounding at his door
He leaped from his warm bed
His feet moved swiftly across the floor

Just outside the door
Standing in the pouring rain
A messenger with scroll in hand
A summons from the King

It read, "I need your help, old friend
But you can leave your sword at home
For what I need from you this time
Is not a matter of blood, or bone"

"Please hasten ye onto me
You may leave your armor behind
For what I need of you, old Knight
Is a matter of the mind"

He donned the first thing he could find
Then dashed out to the royal coach
In less it seemed than a heart beat
They were crossing the castle moat

He was lead to the King's own chamber
In the castle tower high in the sky
The King set at a table there
A strange look in his eye

"I have come to help you, my good King
At least I vow to try
Ask of me anything you will
For you know, for you I would die"

"I have been pondering the meaning," said the King
"Of the most perplexing thing
But try as I have I cannot find
The answer within my brain"

"Of those within my Kingdom
You are the wisest of them all
You served my Father's court
When I was but a boy so small"

"He told me if ever there came a time
When the answers I had not found
I need only summons you to help me
So come in, and enlighten me, come sit yourself down"

The old Knight took a chair
His weary body sit bowed, and bent
To the words of the King
His ears he gladly lent

"Ask of me what you will, my King
I shall answer if I can
For I serve you now, as I served your Father
When he was King of this great land"

"What is it that you seek to know
That keeps you up so late at night
What thought is it that has besieged you
If ask you that I might"

The King was clearly shaken
His hands had turned a pale white
It was hard for him to speak of it
For it had filled his heart with fright

"I have been thinking of Mother
And of how each night before she sleeps, she cries
Over the death of my dear Father
And I wonder, what happens when one dies"

"We are told to believe in the afterlife
Yet no one from death has returned
How can there be any life at all
Once the body has been burned"

"I watched my Father's funeral fire
The flames lit up the sky
I know I shall not look upon him again
So is the after life a lie?"

In less than a heartbeat
These words came from the old Knight
"What makes you think, my good King
That the afterlife has anything to do with sight"

"The afterlife is a thing the living cannot see
Yet sometimes in my mind, I hear long gone voices call to me
I feel the presence of those long departed now
They speak to me, and touch me still, though I understand not how"

"Tonight when you summoned me
I heard your Father's words
"Go to him, he needs you", he said
"And within me so many memories stirred"

"The after life is far beyond
The realm of mortal men
Yet it exists within the same plan of time
That we are living in"

"The afterlife is not of the body
For from that the dead are free
It is of the spirit
They are still here with you, and me"

"When your Mother cries at night
She is calling out for what has been
Your Father hears, and comes to her
At that point her crying ends"

"His spirit touches her
She then knows that all is right
She can slip off into slumber
And sleep another night"

"The afterlife is real, my good King
All that happens when one dies
Is the spirit is freed of the burden of body
The afterlife is no lie"

"Now, my good King, if I may
Of you I shall take my leave
I myself have spirits to talk with
Yet upon this eve"

Humbled by the ease with which
The old Knight had answered him
The King knew in truth
The knight was indeed, the wisest of all men

"Yes, my wise old friend
You may be on our way
I owe now a debt though
That I do not know how to repay"

"You have served this Kingdom well
Your deeds in battle, have many times saved your king
And now on this dark, and rainy night
You have saved my befuddled brain"

"Whatever you might want
Just ask, and yours it shall be
For there is no price too high to pay
For what you have given me"

As the old Knight stood to go
He uttered this last line
"Just rule this Kingdom well
For it did once, and does now
Belong to a dear friend of mine"


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