John Horváth Jr



They Break Their Bread and Drink

The mother with her blackbread meal
And watered soup dreams peace
The cross she bears is its own grace
She breaks her bread and drinks

Grandmother cannot look upon the priest
Who blesses ships that carry off the troops
The invalid, the rheumy-eyed, they cheer them on
She breaks her bread and drinks

The sister in her petticoats
Donates her silkies to the cause
Gives all for army pay and soldier’s brat
She breaks her bread and drinks

The soldier and the sailor on the ship at sea
Write letters home to each of them (free
Postage Stamp) “I’m doing fine, don’t cry for me”
They break their bread, they sing, they drink.

The submariner ‘neath the waves
Takes comfort there’s no threat
He thinks, he breaks his bread, he drinks

Long hours through the night they rest,
They wake, They dress their very best,
Then orate, “With your boy’s sacrifice,
We all are soundly Blest”

They raise a toast to one and all
Their etiquette requires this
No more than this they toast then drink




Mississippian John Horváth Jr publishes internationally since the 1960s (recently in Munyori Review (Zimbabwe); Numbat (Australia). Pyrokinection, Illuminations (print), and Olentangy Review). After Vanderbilt and Florida State universities, “Doc” Horváth taught at historically Black colleges. Since 1997, to promote contemporary international poetry, Horváth edits

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