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One Hundred Years Ago

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  • One Hundred Years Ago

    One Hundred Years Ago

    Someone purged
    Another’s life,
    Brought him down,
    And so his wife.
    And blood would flow
    From that heartless blow
    And spread,
    One hundred years ago.

    The mood was dark,
    The mood was skittish
    On the Western Front
    With the French and British,
    Where Germans came
    With hands full-clenched,
    One hundred years ago.

    But boys are boys
    And men are men,
    None would falter
    To defend
    The things held dear
    Through sweat and tears
    Like Liberty and Life.

    So off they went
    To win the war
    A million bullets
    Soon would soar
    In harm’s way
    Or go astray
    One hundred years ago.

    Darkness hovered
    O’er the land,
    Where open graves laid
    Wait for man.
    The moon exposed
    The tragedies
    From greed and hatred’s
    Strategies.

    Some were feigning
    They were dead,
    Some were groveling
    Instead.
    Some were crying
    In despair--
    “Is war our only hope and prayer?”
    One hundred years ago.

    Nineteen fourteen
    In December
    Is the truce
    We all remember.
    When beyond one’s
    Loyal stance,
    They all agreed
    To not advance
    One hundred years ago.

    A time to weep,
    A time for laughter,
    A time to think
    Of the hereafter.
    ‘Twas Christmas eve
    And their emotions
    Were riding high
    Across the ocean.

    Someone said
    “Let’s celebrate!”
    Others warned
    “It’ll be our fate
    If friendships
    We would dare create,”
    One hundred years ago.

    Some even thought
    It was a trick—
    What a clever
    Time to pick
    A maneuver of deceit—
    At Christmas.

    Across the trenches
    Flames were fanned
    By winds that spread
    Through ‘no man’s land.’
    Where ev’ry candle light
    Would glow
    And melt the hatred
    In one’s soul.

    And hearts would
    Hearken once again
    To songs of ‘Peace,
    Good will to men.’
    Each side singing
    Joyful songs,
    Exchanging gifts
    for hate was wrong.
    Sharing pictures,
    Family prose,
    A sweet perfume
    During wartime woes.

    They even shared
    In breaking bread,
    Then helped each
    Other bury their dead.
    But best of all they
    Lowered their guns
    To play some friendly games.
    One hundred years ago!

    What were the lessons
    That they learned?
    Listen up—I understand--
    That ‘life is precious,
    And we’d do well
    To build on LOVE,
    Not shifting sand.'

    They even proved
    That together
    We can live in
    Harmony.
    If only we would
    Work on that
    Instead of armory.

    The Spirit of Christmas
    Was there that day,
    In the hearts of men
    When they went ‘astray.’
    And they beat the game
    Of Hate and Deceit.
    And played their drums
    To a different beat.


    Shirley Seal
    East Lansing, MI




    THIS REPLACES MY FIRST POEM BY SAME NAME.




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