The Boys of the 39th Come Home

The train is not far
    from the station now
    and finally
    we chug on home.

The sergeant says
    there will be pretty girls
    to hug our necks
    and kiss our cheeks,
    there will be old men in hats
    to slap our backs
    and say “Welcome home, son,
    good job, good job!”

There will be ticker tape
    and a big brass band
    and a parade right through
    the center of town

but this train is
    so much emptier than it was
    when we left for the trenches
    and none of this fanfare
    will fill it up again.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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