Got Mit Uns

My father brought it to my mother at the close of World War One
A belt buckle taken from a fallen German foe.
Some fifteen years passed by and I, a lad of ten,
Walked with my daddy wherever he went,
And he opened his heart and told me the story. Well, most of the story, that is,
Up to the unspeakable point: he could not tell his son
That he had killed a man.
But he talked about the soldier in German uniform,
A manly youth, just like on of us, he said,
Promising, and full of plans for his future. And Dad's eyes filled and voice failed;
I never heard the rest.
Like one possessed by a dark sorrow,
Like one who pleads for forgiveness,
He must have been praying that his son somehow
Would fulfill the dream of brotherhood which bound him
To that noble youth forever dying in his arms. Always I keep the belt buckle and treasure the words inscribed,
"Got Mit Uns."

by William Hinchman

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