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Anonymous Poetry

The poetry you find here came to the Korean War Educator with unknown authors. If anyone can verify who wrote the pieces, please contact our Foundation.

Loving a Serviceman

Loving a serviceman is not all gay:
  A careworn heart is the price you pay.
It's mostly to have and not to hold,
  Being young, and feeling old.

It's sending a letter stamped upside down
  To a faraway place in a faraway town.
It's being in love with merely your dreams,
  Bringing thoughts to heaven, where love lights its beams.

You wish it were possible for him to say,
  "I'm coming home, and home I shall stay."
You watch for a word that he is well,
  You wait for weeks, but no mail for a spell.

When a letter does come, you bubble with joy
  And act like a child with a shining new toy.
You go in to church, and kneel and pray
And really mean the things that you say.

Love's hating the wait, the world and the war
  Because it took the boy you adore.
It's loneliness, sadness and ungrounded fears.
  Crying until there are no more tears.

Yes, loving a serviceman isn't all fun,
  But it's worth the price when the battle is won.

Things You Didn’t Do!

Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and dented it?
I thought you’d kill me, but you didn’t.

Remember the time I dragged you to the beach? You said it would rain – and it did.
I thought you’d try to say I told you so, but you didn’t.

Remember the time I flirted to make you jealous, and you were?
I thought you’d leave me, but you didn’t.

Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie all over your car rug?
I thought you’d smack me, but you didn’t.

And remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal and you showed up in jeans?
I thought you’d drop me, but you didn’t.

Yes, there were lots of things you didn’t do.
But you put up with me, and you loved me and protected me.

There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you when you returned from the war.
But you didn’t.


The Sixteen Hundred

[This poem was written in Pyucktong "Camp 5" North Korea.  Over 1800 men died in this camp.  In the Spring of 1951 over 1600 "dog tags" were taken from these men.  Many of the prisoners at this camp contributed to the words of "The Sixteen Hundred."]

Not a bugle was heard, not a funeral beat,
Or even a drum sounding retreat.
As over the ice the corpse was carried,
To the hill where those "G.I.'s" are buried.

Six foot by two foot by one foot deep,
On a Korean hillside they sleep.
Both young and old, perhaps one wonders why?
These 1600 had to die.

No little white cross with their name,
But then they are not buried in shame.
Although they are in unknown graves,
"Sixteen Hundred," American Braves.

No useless casket enclosed their breast,
It is "G.I." clothing for their last rest.
All colors of men: Blacks, Browns, and Whites,
Now "Sixteen Hundred" faded lights.

A pill, a powder, medicine of any kind,
Or, should we say a stronger mind;
Could have saved them from yonder hill,
Those "Sixteen Hundred," now laying still.

In their illness, tossing and turning,
Most of them knew there would be no returning.
Some went easy, some with pain,
Did these "Sixteen Hundred" die in vain?

When we go home to enjoy our fill,
They are still there on that lonely hill.
Forgotten by some, yet remembered by most,
They will be "The Sixteen Hundred" in their last post.

 

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