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The Mother of a Hero

From The Birmingham Age Herald, May 1, 1914. By Margaret E. Sangster, Jr.

A crash, a flash, a momentary triumph,
    The blaze of the sun from out a sky of blue;
And someone lies, a heap of huddled garments,
    With heart now still that once sang brave and true.

A blur of smoke against the mountains rugged,
    A buzzard winging slowly through the sky,
And miles away a little mother—waiting—
    And praying to the gracious God on high.

A moan, a stream of life blood ebbing swiftly,
    A pair of eyes that close in endless sleep;
A bullet, sharp and sudden in its coming,
    That leaves a wound so horrible and deep.

A paper, printed large in glowing headlines,
    That says, “He left a mother, next of kin.”
A country’s loud approval of a hero—
    And one small woman sobbing through the din!

A fear, a tear, a pair of hands clasped tightly,
    A mind that sees a sturdy little boy,
A tiny baby face with roguish dimples,
    A sound of laughter filled with childish joy.

A nation’s hero, dying first—with glory!
    A man in spirit, though a boy in years,
A soldier shot in battle, fighting bravely—
    A little mother smiling through the tears!

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