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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Almost A War Bride - Original Poem

I've been looking through my files and have been finding a lot of things that I wrote many years ago.  I decided to start playing around with them and then sharing them with the world at large to see what people think of them.  This is a poem I wrote when I was 14 or 15 and has not been changed at all from the original.

He wanted to marry before he left, but she was young.
Just 16.
 And the war wasn’t going to last. 
He begged and asked, but she remained steadfast. 
And so, resigned, he asked her to wait, 
 Wait for him to come home. 
To this she consented, so off he went, walking on the heels of fate. 
As he left, waving his hat, off to war
Her heart fell.
An unexplainable fear came upon her, she knew not what for.

 For an instant she saw a glimpse of what the following years would bring. 
A small voice told her it would not be a wedding ring.
But she didn't want to believe the horror
 So she pushed it away,
 Forgot about it for many, many a day.

 The years pass, he doesn't come. 
He doesn't write. 
She fears maybe, he lost the fight.

Many a man she could have had,
Many a man did she turn down, 
Ever watching,
 Ever waiting,
Longing for her lover. 

Yes, young girl, watch and wait. 
Wait for your true love to come from behind the hills. 
He will come, but many a day,
 Many a night
And many a heartache
Will you see
 Before he comes, riding home to thee. 

For in the time of hate and war, 
There is no room for love and lore.

 He shall come, though changed and grim.
 You will change to, 
For nothing stays the same, 
Save your thoughts of love for him. 

No longer will you be the care free children of yesteryears, 
No longer filled with bright hopes and joys, 
For you will taste life's sorrow and fears. 
No longer dancing girls and boys, 
Your faces will become dark and grim, full of suffering and tears.

 For it is not only the men who leave that suffer, 
 The women they leave behind face worse, for they have to wait. 
 Never knowing if their man will come home. 
Never knowing if the letter they are reading was their lover’s last. 
But everyone always wishes that they could go back to the past. 

The years pass, 
She is now 19, 
How many times has she wished 
That she had married him when he asked 
Instead of waiting! 
How many times has she cried herself to sleep in bed, 
Alone and cold, 
Wishing he was with her. 

Another year goes by.
And another
One night, cold and gray
 A stranger knocks, and asks to stay.
She welcomes him, thinking of her lover, 
Hoping that he has a roof over his head this night. 
She feeds the stranger. 
But then, does he seem so strange?
In his eye there is a familiar light.

She looks at him in wonder
“My love, do you know me not? 
I have come home to thee”
 It is he

 But he has changed. 

No longer a mere boy of just 18, 
Now a strong, serious man of 23, 
Changed through many long nights of sleeping in the open air. 
Through many hard days of work and toil to bear.

Just like she is changed

No longer a fresh, young girl of sweet 16, 
But a serious, quiet woman of 21
Changed through long nights of separation and pain 
Through long days of work, in sun and rain.

Though so much changed over the years of separation
One thing remained constant
And could not be shaken.
Their love for one another bore
Them through the years
Of pain and war.

Now, together.
At last.
Nothing will change that.
Separation is past.

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