My dad ain’t just the letter writin’ kind –
He’s rather let the women see to that;
He’s got a mess o’ troubles on his mind,
And likes to keep ‘em underneath his hat.
And p’raps because he isn’t very strong
On talkin’, why, he’s kind o’ weak on ink;
But he can work like sin the whole year long,
And, crickey, how that dad o’ mine can think!
When I set out from Homeville last July,
He didn’t bawl the way my sister did;
He just shook hands and says, “Well, boy, good-bye.”
(He’s got his feelin’s, but he keeps ‘em hid.)
And so when mother writes about the things
That I spend half my time a-thinkin’ of,
There’s one short line that every letter brings;
“Father will write, and meanwhile sends his love.”
“Father will write,” Well, some day p’raps he will –
There’s lots of funny prophecies come true;
But if he just keeps promisin’ to, still,
I’ll understand, and dad’ll know I do.
YANKS – Copyright 1918 – FOREWORD
The verses that make up this little book have all been published in THE STARS AND STRIPES, the official newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces. They have come in from the field, the back areas, the ports; they have been written on the eve of battle; the men who wrote some of them have paid the great price. They are the heart and soul of the American Army in France. It is their only claim to distinction. It is enough.