From a series of poems by fellow soldiers that my father collected. The works' authorship is unknown.
A FLOWER GROWS ON WAR-SCARRED GROUND
On this island Mars still plays his hand.
The beach is quiet now; he has moved inland.
Beneath the sun, men toil;
Digging, clearing, piling soil on soil.
Between them and the sea - a fringe of sand.
On this fringe of sand Mars left his seal.
Here, craters deep abound: imprints of his heel
In some the sea has crept;
Others remain empty - all except
For flowers, growing there with quiet zeal.
A flower grows on a war-scarred ground
Amid man's shattered tools of war strewn around.
Amid war's after-gloom
It flourishes, hanging bloom on bloom.
How strange a home this zinnia has found!
It is not alone here on the beach;
Yonder springs - oh, if it could only reach! -
Another common flower,
Dainty, fragile, holding yet some power
To draw its strength from the reluctant beach.
Zinnia and petunia, hand in hand
In Mother's garden casually appearing
Now in this almost flowerless land
Become at once exotic, rare, endearing.