Oh, Mother dear, the sirens, the sirens are wailing
From street to street and through the city side
The frontier’s gone and ancient forests failing
And it’s I did go but you did bide

But I come back when summer’s on the Common
Or when the snow halts the traffics run
And it’s I’ll be there when peace breaks out and war is done
Oh, Mother dear, oh, Mother dear I’m still your son.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.