John’s Sword by Justin Freeman

Dearest Brother,

Have no worry Hen, if there is one thing you don’t have to worry about it is my steadfast approach to learning here at Trinity College. I have no intentions of being anything less than the best I can be, the best I want to be. I shan’t waste one hour and betray the efforts that the fifteen of us have been giving since the very first day three months ago. I feel as if I must apologize, but I am not sorry. I am not meant for war, it is not the glorious tale I had grew up listening to, but it is indeed hell on earth. I know my small foray into that hell is nothing compared to yours, but we are not made of the same stuff. I will do my best to uphold our family’s honor with books and pens, not rifles and swords.

A poem in response:

(John’s Apology)

One of fifteen
three months at war
no longer a teen
what I longed for, the lore
I don’t want the hell in store

I want my life
(some what glory)
without chaos and strife
I’d rather tell the story

Thus I opened a new door
full of new challenges
because I longed for something more
I welded shut the old hinges.


(John’s sword)

Forged for war
bathed in gore
it’s an amazing thing
history changed in a single swing
a life taken with a thrust and a rip
when life should wander on an wonderful trip
young lives aren’t meant to be sent to the black
and thus with each swing my resolve shall crack
is it wrong to say,
this blade doesn’t wish to slay


Justin Sword
Reverend John James McCook’s Sword. Photograph by Carolyn Bernier. Permission to use image given by Butler-McCook House