“The Link” is one of six poems by C. A. Hollis recorded in Robert Dickinson’s journal.
The “capturing chains” that link letter writer to reading prisoner is an unusual way to acknowledge the humanity that allows mail between loved ones to flow even in the worst of situations.
Perhaps the grateful serviceman pictured is a self-portrait of Robert.
There’s a time when we are happy,
T’is the happiest hour of the day,
When our capturing chains link us
With our homeland far away.
This link brings words of comfort,
Of friendship, and good cheer,
It brings to us the fondest thoughts
Of all who hold us dear.
They come from Town and City,
Wherever freedom flows,
The message that keeps us smiling
The smile, once surrender, froze.
They help us to remember
Each English hill and dale,
And each night our hearts whisper
Thank God for our mail.