I was not there when war began
but still I lay my wreath today...
I did not hear the goodbyes
of bewildered offspring,
or the sound of their tears
as they wept each night,
missing Mum, Dad, or Gran;
evacuees – sent miles away
to safety, or so they believed.
I did not see the tortured face
nor hear the silence – that break
in a mother’s voice, who’d lost
a son, brother or husband,
nor hear the screams of those
who’d lost limbs, eyes or both,
nor strive to ease their sobs
that racked heaving shoulders.
I did not smell the stale stench
of fear, as it wafted through
the bomb-site round the corner;
a burnt-out home, school or mission,
hung with pictures – words of hope
from youngsters long-gone; so much
charred and blackened debris,
blowing in the wind.
I was not there when war ended;
all I know – the peace it left behind.