News From the Front

Detached from life, the women overseas,
Wait only for one thing news from the front.
The olden joys, and worries, hopes and cares,
Aims and ambitions, which made up their days
Are meaningless and empty. Nothing seems
Of any import but the waited word
From deal ones who have heard the country's call
And answered it, and left vast loneliness
And hunger of the heart in silent homes.

Bravely they do the things that must be done,
And make no protest; but, one wish alone
Fills all their thoughts by day, their dreams by night --
News from the front!

I, too, detached from all that life once meant,
Perform my duties and pursue my tasks
As cheerfully and as bravely as I can:
While like dead leaves on bleak November winds
Old aims, ambitions, interests and desires,
Blow by me. One who heard the call of God
And answered it, left such vast loneliness
And hunger in my heart, that now my life
Has room for only one compelling wish
Which fills my thoughts by day, my dreams by night ---
News from the Front!

Sonnets of sorrow and triumph. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York: George H. Doran, 1918.

Back to Poem Index