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Eternal Fear

Each time when awakened form slumber deep,
In the silenced darkness I must keep.
My calm and my nerve when he answers the call,
For I know he must go and give his all.

Each time I know may be the last,
I tell him good-bye and hold him fast.
I’m always unsure if he will return,
But I hide my thoughts and all concern.

It can’t happen to him, I tell myself,
Secretly knowing I may be left.
Alone in this life without him near.
I’m never able to calm that fear.

He answered the call to protect and serve,
Not sure himself where he got the nerve.
He’s made it his life and I understand,
But I pray he returns to hold my hand.

I tell the kids he’ll be okay,
Not really knowing what to say.
But hoping they won’t see the fear,
I feel in my heart as I hold them near.

While hoping my feelings go unknown,
I pray tonight he will come home.
I hope in my heart this isn’t the night,
He lays down his life and loses the fight.

But when he comes home I’ll be relieved,
And know I was right to have believed.
That he’d be safe and come home once more,
And I’ll be waiting when he comes in the door.

Until the next time he answers the call,
And goes out in the night to give his all.
Written by: Anita Layne Riley. She wrote this poem in 1990, one year prior to her husband’s, Floyd Allen Riley, line of duty death.

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