Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Longings for Home
By Arthur D. Rees
From “Volunteers”
Charles Hastings, Delaware

MY home is in Laurel.
But they speak my name there no more.
Yet the place is still green in my memory,
And I’m only twenty five—I may be forgiven.
But tell this to my people there for me,        5
And put it in their paper:
That I’ve wandered many miles from home
Since the dark night when I ran away;
And now I’ve enlisted for the war.
My path is too winding and hidden        10
For them ever to find clues of me,
But I’d like my people to know that I understand now
How a weary life and destroyed ways
Take many a man away from home.
I know too the selfishness of the stony cities now;        15
For in them my Buddy and I
Once threw dice for the only job to be had.
And I took to the road and its taunts,
And he took the job.
But both of us had known together        20
The cold glitter of the stars over us all night,
When the heart-sides of us thumped hard
And were sad.
But I want my people to know nothing of that.
Tell them only that after seven years’ wandering        25
My heart is growing peaceful again
And my face bright with looking toward my home;
And that the army is my refuge,
Where I’m happy and content.
Tell them too that on my first furlough        30
I’ll be returning to them in the old house.
Returning! returning!—
There’s in that word something beautiful
To me now!
But my young laughter is returning in silence,        35
And my fierce waywardness is returning in sorrow—
Tenderly to the mother who thought
She would see her son no more.

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