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Four years my father fought that war of theirs, And did not love or hate his enemies. But I know he was forming me, even there, Day by day, out of his tranquilities, The precious few tranquilities he gleaned Between the smoke and bombs for a child's sake And put them in the knapsack tattered at the seams, With leftovers of mother's hardening cake. He gathered with his eyes the nameless dead. The numerous dead he gathered so I'd know And love them, seeing them as he saw, instead Of dying, as they died, in gore and terror. He filled his eyes with them. He was in error. Onward like them to all my wars I go.