This poem is from the novel The End of Innocence. There it’s written by a German soldier. It was based on an actual poem by a German-American who desperately wanted reconciliation in the early days of World War I. The original poem by Harvard professor Kuno Francke can be found here.
Is this how a spirit dies? On a dark
August day under the guns of strangers
Our children drown in the blood of a world
Not we but our fathers made. We die for
Thoughts we don’t think, and for men we don’t love.
Luther’s God, build your fortress round our hearts
Until our souls are welcomed back to earth.
Grant the gift of Spring to a broken race.
(c) 2014 Allegra Jordan THE END OF INNOCENCE
Ayd (The Witness)
This poem in the novel is written by Helen Brooks, a young Bostonian. I wrote it after going the wedding of Jonathan Zasloff in Lake Tahoe and dedicated it to he and his wife’s beautiful spirit.
They wore grey suits and brown ties
To the wedding by the shore
Their covered heads and laughing eyes
Crackled with wit not given in halves.
I didn’t know them,
But I laughed in their mirth.
I didn’t see your love
But I felt it in my heart.
I didn’t hold the chair
But my hands clapped in time.
I didn’t sing.
But my heart did. And loudly.
I never touched the water that day
But a bit ran down my face
That such grace had bloomed
In a garden of sand.
(c) 2014 Allegra Jordan, THE END OF INNOCENCE.