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Myron J. Ferch is not a household name, perhaps even among the Ferches. But Myron Ferch served as a private from 1941-1945 in World War II, notably in Papua New Guinea. He wrote a slim book of poems, Wartime and Other Poems. The cover shows him and his dog in front of a sheep wagon (Myron was from McCone County in Montana). His niece, Sally, owned a copy, signed by the author and autographed, “To a very nice niece. I hope your trail is a pleasant one.” Sally gave the booklet to her daughter, who gave it to me.
Myron set his down his war experiences in verse. I’ve chosen this one to share, entitled “The Letter from Mother”:
Every evening, just at mess time,
When the western sun is low,
The soldiers get excited
When they hear the whistle blow.
They know that it is mail-call,
For the top-kick’s tent they sail
And they gather in a circle
When he’s handing out the mail.
There’s a couple more from Betty,
Whom I chance to meet one day,
And she writes me nice long letters,
She’s a flier now, she says.
There’s another one from sister,
Holy Smoke! That makes me four!
But that’s only just a starter,
Me–I’d like a dozen more.
There should be one from Helen,
Used to get one every day,
She said to me, “If you get killed,
Please tell me right away.”
Ah, there’s one that I’ve been waiting for,
I know the writing well,
And that’s the one I open first
To see what it will tell.
“I and Pa are feeling fine,
We’re hoping you’re o.k.”,
But I get a world of meaning
From the words they never say.
Doggerel can be touching, and though rough-hewn, noble.Published in