Today’s poem, which marks the last day of National Poetry Month, is by Edgar A. Guest,Â one of the most prolific poets the world has ever seen.Â Guest in his more than 40 years of writing poetry at the Detroit Free Press never missed a deadline for his daily poem. During World War I, a number of his poems were a commentary on both theÂ mundane and the terrifying aspect of warfare. LON will continue to run poetry by area poets and we want to thank the 30 poets who participated in the first-ever Poem/a/Day at LON.
Spring in the Trenches
IT’S coming time for planting in that little patch of ground,
Where the lad and I made merry as he followed me around;
The sun is getting higher, and the skies above are blue,
And I’m hungry for the garden, and I wish the war were through.
But it’s tramp, tramp, tramp,
Â Â Â And it’s never look behind,
And when you see a stranger’s kids,
Â Â Â Pretend that you are blind.
The spring is coming back again, the birds begin to mate;
The skies are full of kindness, but the world is full of hate.
And it’s I that should be bending now in peace above the soil,
With laughing eyes and little hands about to bless the toil.
But it’s fight, fight, fight,
Â Â Â And it’s charge at double-quick;
A soldier thinking thoughts of home
Â Â Â Is one more soldier sick.
Last year I brought the bulbs to bloom and saw the roses bud;
This year I’m ankle deep in mire, and most of it is blood.
Last year the mother in the door was glad as she could be;
To-day her heart is full of pain, and mine is hurting me.
But it’s shoot, shoot, shoot,
Â Â Â And when the bullets hiss,
Don’t let the tears fill up your eyes,
Â Â Â For weeping soldiers miss.
Oh, who will tend the roses now and who will sow the seeds?
And who will do the heavy work the little garden needs?
And who will tell the lad of mine the things he wants to know,
And take his hand and lead him round the paths we used to go?
For it’s charge, charge, charge,
Â Â Â And it’s face the foe once more;
Forget the things you love the most
Â Â Â And keep your mind on war.
Edgar A. Guest