Oh mother, mother, where is happiness? They took my lover's tallness off to war, Left me lamenting. Now I cannot guess What I can use an empty heart-cup for. He won't be coming back here any more. Some day the war will end, but, oh, I knew When he went walking grandly out that door That my sweet love would have to be untrue. Would have to be untrue. Would have to court Coquettish death, whose impudent and strange Possessive arms and beauty (of a sort) Can make a hard man hesitate—and change. And he will be the one to stammer, "Yes." Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
From "Appendix to The Anniad: leaves from a loose-leaf war diary" in Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks, published by Harper. © 1949 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Used with permission. All rights reserved.