Words for My Grandfather
In June of 1917 when I was 21
I signed up for the draft for the War
And created a mystery.
All my life I went by Lawrence Harrison Verner
But on the registration card
The registrar spelled my first name “Laurence”
And I signed as “Lorans.”
What would account for this?
I couldn’t spell my own name?
I made a mistake out of nerves?
I gave the registrar a French spelling
Because of bad feelings against Germans?
Whatever the cause, I left a mystery
For a grandson I never knew
Who bears my middle name
And who wrote these words for me.
--Danny Harrison Verner