Richard is standing at Schermer's doorway, too stunned to cry. With
great compassion, the family brings him inside.
Mr Schermer gently shows him the headline "Beloved American Poet Killed in
Battle" in the newspaper. Richard gazes at the smiling face for the first
time after his death. The article recounts the circumstances of Kilmer's death
and how his comrades bury him in France.
Richard is too shocked to cry and realises that the unposted letter to Kilmer's
is still in his pocket. Reality strikes and the tears begin to well up, He
thanks the Schermers and runs to his favourite oak tree where he cries freely.
He is filled witrh hopelessness as he ponders the unanswered question on what
poets and poetry can do to make the world a better place. He realises that
poets are unable to stop war.
When he returns home he composes a poem In Memory of Sergeant Joyce
Kilmer. It has four verses expressing sadness over the loss of a world of rhyme
and song he had treasure.
Richard visits the schermers the next day and shares this poem with them