A Kriegie’s Prayer –Ralph Hamilton

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Oh, God, I ask of you in humble prayer,

As I lie in torment far from home,

Keep safe my loving family over there;

Make lighter theirs—this burden

Which they bear.

I ask not why this plan for war was lain,

Nor question your divine authority,

But couldn’t you have had the flak refrain

That last time I went down to

Strafe a train?

Oh, God, just slightly overflow thy cup,

And speed me from this vermin-prison’s bed.

Please, God, release me from

This land of Krupp

Before these God-damned bedbugs eat me up!

Note: Ralph wrote this under a dim night light, on toilet paper in the German prison camp at Moosburg. He said the bedbugs had chewed his wrists, neck, and ankles to a “painful mass of itching misery” and forced him from his bunk.