Not Humming by Laura Foley

Not Humming

On the forced march
from Tientsin to Woosung,
our Marines, ordered silent—
no humming or singing
snapped the Japanese,
as the men trudged
a hundred miles to prison.
My father, not humming,
the whole of four winters,
or to my knowledge, since.

by Laura Foley, first published in Joy Street (Headmistress Press).

Editor’s Note: The simple narrative of this poem belies the overwhelming emotional impact.