Somoshree Palit


O child of the Dawn, sweet little child,
The morning calls, the morning’s free.
The golden morn, the golden dawn—
Free for you, sweet baby—free.

Sweet child of the Dawn, beautiful dawn,
Your home is safe for liberty now. 
Your mom is safe, you seem safe, 
Those tired boys are sleeping now. 

Little child, what did you learn?
Little secrets did your father tell?
Your brothers, did they cry little cries? 
Spit on those lies, the lies they yell. 

Hickory Dickory dock, sir. 
Hickory Dickory dock, 
My daddy came back home, sir,
My daddy, daddy in shell shock.
He made me brave for the Huns, sir, 
He made me brave for the Huns,
So brave that he hides behind my back
Or wails at the blare of guns. 

Wondered at the stars, sir,
Twinkle twinkle little stars?
My brother, sweet brother, sir,
Is alive, sir, with many scars.
He has no legs, no hands, sir, 
Nor eyes nor ears, nor a second's ease, 
He sobs, just sobs when I kiss him—
He tells me, I know: 
“Kill me, kill me please.”

Humpty Dumpty thought, sir, 
Humpty Dumpty thought he’s wise,
My friend lives there, over there, sir, 
As the gas came and burned out his eyes, 
He was a happy soul, sir, 
He was a merry lad, 
He would’ve still had happier eyes, 
If not by the coffin was he clad. 

Why would you miss me, sir—
Miss me, don’t I have a say? 
Do not lull me asleep, sir,
I must sing, I must sing for I deserve a say.
I've borne my yolk through Flanders fall.
Have walked through in Passchendaele
Have bled my way through Ypres, dear,
Still received no love, no ardour, no ale.
I've cried through the wires of Verdun,
Have wailed in trenches of Marne,
In Somme did I sink, sink so deep,
Yet received no hope, no joy, no yarn.
All along the lands of Dead,
All forsaken, crying geist—
With all poppies unsung, unkempt,
Have I been crucified, crucified Christ.
“Layers and layers of snow may fall,
You say you remember; do say not lies, 
Through every infant you send to kill—
Wails Jesus, Baby Jesus dies.”

Somoshree Palit is a first-year student at Loreto College in Kolkata, India; she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She made her debut in publishing with her short story, “The Resonance,” in 30 Best Stories, a collection compiled by Future Publication in 2017. She has recently performed a musical verse-play, “The Red Snowman,” based on the Christmas Truce of 1914 for her college, followed by “Apollo and Cassandra,” a verse-play on John Keats, whom she adores. The Romantic poets charm her, war-poets evoke her sympathy, and with her pen she tries to honor the legacy of the bygone philosophers of truth.

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