Posts Tagged ‘veteran’

On Veteran’s Day

This was published in my dad’s hometown paper, The Milwaukee Sentinel,  on January 30, 1945.  My poetry-loving father kept it in a box  along with  his army cap and my mother’s wedding photo. The “new arrivals” being addressed are fresh troops being quizzed by the long-time soldiers away from home:

 To Recent Arrivals

Is our land still the same
As we dimly recall
With plenty of room
For the great and the small?
Has there been any change
From the old, well-loved scenes
In the Bronx, or in Brooklyn,
Long Island or Queens?

Does the water still sing
‘Mid the rocks and the rills
Of the tiny trout streams in the clean Berkshire hills?
Does the draftee’s step drag
With a touch of the blues
As each juke box in Natchez
Blares forth “Born to Lose”?

Do the geese flying south
Rend the dawn with their call?
Did they crown a new “Ice King”
Up there in St. Paul?
Do the trains whistle yet,
Clear and sweet as a flute
As they speed thru the darkness
Towards Billings and Butte?

Do the stockmen still stroll
In a tight little clan
With their boots striking sparks
In the streets of Cheyenne?
Do the gay lights of Frisco
Make sport of the dark
As you gaze over town
From the “top of the Mark”?

Is our land just the same
As it was long ago?
Please tell us, compadres,
We’re wanting to know.


 image: wlodi via Flickr

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