WE stood up and we didn’t say a word,
It felt just like when you have dropped your pack
After a hike, and straightened out your back
And seem just twice as light as any bird.
We stood up straight and, God! but it was good!
When you have crouched like that for months, to stand
Straight up and look right out toward No-Man’s-Land
And feel the way you never thought you could.
We saw the trenches on the other side
And Jerry, too, not making any fuss,
But prob’ly stupid-happy, just like us,
Nobody shot and no one tried to hide.
If you had listened then I guess you’d heard
A sort of sigh from everybody there,
But all we did was stand and stare and stare,
Just stare and stand and never say a word.
—Hilmar R. Baukhage, Pvt., A.E.F.