Poem: A Letter from the Trenches
Editors note: I’m posting a few poems I wrote a while back for a creative writing class. The following was published in I.U. South Bend’s literary magazine The Analecta.
The first poem is from a German soldier to his mother during the middle-years of World War One. Don’t ask me the style, this was written six years ago!
Dear Mother, you may have heard things about the war
that may trouble your heart, but do not feel ashamed at my loneliness.
Though it may seem like my time here in France is chaotic,
the time from the front has led to me something beautiful.
Her name is Denise, like you, she has a bright shining spirit.
The few hours I spent with her and her family seemed like the old days.
The French have been shelling us for days.
I despise this despicable, senseless war.
Sweet mother, lift up your spirit,
do not fear my loneliness,
life will once again be beautiful.
Do not let this war make your life chaotic.
The trenches are at best chaotic
and my men have not slept or eaten for many days.
We liberated some stale bread from the French—it was beautiful.
This allowed me, for at least a few hours, to forget the war.
I know you feel a sense of loneliness
on the farm but lift up your spirit.
My dear friend Max has a troubled spirit.
We have been through hell in this war, but it is the chaotic
decisions of our demanding officers that leave us with a sense of loneliness
in this war. I feel that their ways of waging war will weigh heavy on the days.
Why must men to go to war
over this land that is so beautiful.
Mother. I must confess that this war is not beautiful.
The papers back home tell us to not let our spirit
be broken by the enemy and we will win this war.
I pray that my boys never face these chaotic
battles of endless days
A new sour sense of sickening loneliness,
has fallen upon me. Death is indeed beautiful.
My sweet friend Max… His end of days—
his life had a new spirit.
His life is no longer chaotic.
No more for him is this despicable, senseless war.
The battle of loneliness no longer troubles my spirit.
My beautiful mother, I will leave these chaotic
senseless and endless days next week and end my despicable, senseless war.