War Is Hell

My grandfather wrote this poem in a foxhole in France during WWII. A framed copy of it hangs proudly in Grammy’s dining room:

War Is Hell
By Francis Stevens Joseph O’Connell

War is the thing no one can explain
War is a bad dream no one can explain
War is a lot of hardship that men go through
And women and children have to go through it too
It’s nights in a foxhole that are wet and cold and nasty and dark too
It’s days sweating and starving and sleepy too
It’s days when the sun is out and days when it’s not
It’s days when it’s raining and you’re wet through and through
And you go to bed when night comes and you’re still wet too
It’s up early in the morning and going all day too
Through the mud and more mud and then some too
And then you see the enemy and things start
And then you hit the dirt and start to crawl
To get into position to give them your all
The bullets will whiz by you and you start to sweat and swear
The shells will whiz by overhead and let me tell you
You’ll swear the world is coming to an end
And after the battle is over and everything is quiet
You pray to God and thank him that you’re alive and breathing again
And then you do the same thing all over again
Day in and day out until you pray it will soon end
And after it’s all over and you say to yourself
I wonder if the guy who started it ever knew what the word war means
I doubt he ever knew

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