This is the Place

The thoughts of an American poet about leaving home, set during war time.

This is the place, O this is the place!

The thick morning air hanging over dim streets,

Gaslights slowly tapering off, new electric

Lights not yet fitted in this street; this old road

Where carriages and traps once clattered through.

The sun rises over the city, the loud sound of

Automobiles and opening shops fills the air,

Followed by continuous chatter from the streets;

People passing through to work, people setting up

Stalls to sell their newspapers and hot food,

So much like home, but so different.

Ben speaks up above the crowd, calling out

The hour of the day, and what a day.

Streets lie half empty, that before were mostly full,

Many wives and daughters are passing by,

And a few young uniformed men, the symbols of

Hope and pride, heading to the trains and France.

The sound of a steam engine rents the air,

Chug-chug, chug-chug, and white smoke billows

In the streets as the steel monster squeals to a halt.

The sound of this place is busy and loud, but

Not so busy as the cities of home.

New York has its busy, congested streets, and

My own home, St Louis, with the ships steaming up

The Mississippi to fuel the cities' trade.

The Thames has its own trade routes and ships, the

Long stretch of docks so much like home, but

So different with its many bridges and turrets, some

Remaining, some old and disused, some falling into

Disrepair with plans to restore or replace.

This is the place, O this is the place!

Where steel beasts tear through countryside views,

Billowing smoke into the clean clear air,

Fields of green and gold pass by, sheep

And cows the only living things in sight while

Old scarecrows watch over England's fields.

Country and city are so close together, so much smaller

Than the great states of America. Sweet America, I say

Good bye to all that.

Good bye to the raging cities that never sleep, the

Endless sea of block after block, the old

Country farms that stretch out for miles in

Dry, hot sun. Good bye to humidity and daily showers,

Good bye to blooming summer flowers.

The summers may not be so hot here in this place,

This old unbroken place, but winters are'nt

Half so harsh as those in my old home.

This is the place, O yes, this is the place.

The End

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