oh mudder mine

by Amorel E. O’Kelly Cooke

Oh Mudder mine, Oh Mudder mine
        The night has come, de bright stars shine
I caught just now of heaven a view
        While I stood waiting here for you.

Oh Mudder mine, Oh Mudder mine
        Some how de sun don’t brightly shine
If in de day de birds sing clear
        De sound don’t reach my lonely ear.

De day you kissed me at de door
        I never dreamed we’d meet no more
I wore my khaki suit away
        You said “my boy des allus pray;

You pray for me, and I for you
        And God will bring you safely through
And if we meet no more I’ll wait
        For you at Heaven’s golden gate.”

Oh Mudder mine, Oh Mudder mine;
        Right in de foremost fighting line
I battled night, I battled day
        I never once forgot to pray:—

And when de said de fight was through
        I hastened Mudder home to you
I did not care for “CROIX DE GUERRE”
        I only longed your voice to hear.

I wanted you to hold me close,
        Oh Mudder you who loved me most
I did not care for any praise
        I wanted just to see your face.

But when I reached my home to-day
        De told me you had gone away
Where Heavens stars forever shine—
        Oh Mudder mine, Oh Mudder mine.

Image: The National Archives via Baylor University
Image: The National Archives via Baylor University

Amorel E. Cooke served as president of the Colored Women’s Volunteer Service League, which organized a canteen and rest house in Newark for black servicemen during World War I.

For the fifty-year jubilee of Bethany Baptist Church, Cooke produced an invaluable record of its congregation in Faded foliage and fragrant flowers from the heart of Bethany (1922). The book included a number of her poems, this one among them.

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