by Edgar Albert Guest
When Mrs. Malone got a letter from Pat
She started to read it aloud in her flat.
"Dear Mary," it started, "I can't tell you much,
I'm somewhere in France, and I'm fightin' the Dutch;
I'm chokin' wid news thot I'd like to relate,
But it's little a soldier's permitted t' state.
Do ye mind Red McPhee--well, he fell in a ditch
An' busted an arrm, but I can't tell ye which.
"An' Paddy O'Hara was caught in a flame
An' rescued by--Faith, I can't tell ye his name.
Last night I woke up wid a terrible pain;
I thought for awhile it would drive me insane.
Oh, the suff'rin, I had was most dreadful t' bear!
I'm sorry, my dear, but I can't tell ye where.
The doctor he gave me a pill, but I find
It's conthrary to rules t' disclose here the kind.
"I've been t' the dintist an' had a tooth out.
I'm sorry t' leave you so shrouded in doubt
But the best I can say is that one tooth is gone,
The censor won't let me inform ye which one.
I met a young fellow who knows ye right well,
An' ye know him, too, but his name I can't tell.
He's Irish, red-headed, an' there with th' blarney,
His folks once knew your folks back home in Killarney."
"By gorry," said Mrs. Malone in her flat,
"It's hard t' make sinse out av writin' like that,
But I'll give him as good as he sends, that I will."
So she went right to work with her ink well an' quill,
An' she wrote, "I suppose ye're dead eager fer news--
You know when ye left we were buyin' the shoes;
Well, the baby has come, an' we're both doin' well;
It's a ----. Oh, but that's somethin' they won't let me tell."
Last updated January 14, 2019