Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

A poem that just really hit me as I was proofing "The History of the American Negro in the Great World War". Mostly wanted to keep it for myself, in my journal, but it doesn't hurt to share, either.


We are the Army Stevedores, lusty and virile and strong.
We are given the hardest work of the war, and the hours are long.
We handle the heavy boxes and shovel the dirty coal;
While soldiers and sailors work in the light, we burrow below like a mole.
But somebody has to do this work or the soldiers could not fight!
And whatever work is given a man is good if he does it right.
We are the Army Stevedores, and we are volunteers.
We did not wait for the draft to come, and put aside our fears.
We flung them away to the winds of fate at the very first call of our land.
And each of us offered a willing heart, and the strength of a brawny hand.
We are the Army Stevedores, and work we must and may,
The cross of honor will never be ours to proudly wear and sway.
But the men at the front could not be there, and the battles could not be won.
If the stevedores stopped in their dull routine and left their work undone.
Somebody has to do this work; be glad that it isn't you.
We are the Army Stevedores--give us our due.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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