They planted trees for us today.

elsieshufflebottom

I heard from my cousin Trudy today that Buckland Dinham, a village near Frome Somerset,  is planting ten trees in memory of the ten young men who left their village to fight in the First World War,  and didn’t return.

They planted trees for us today.

A hundred years ago we left this place

and marched away;

They planted trees for us today.

We didn’t know that when we left

Our Mothers wept

already bereft.

As if in practice for the day

They had to say

“I had a telegram today”

We didn’t know that after a handshake

of goodbye, our fathers turned to wipe a tear

from brimming eye.

And now, a hundred years have passed … a hundred!

We who didn’t live to see our grown up years, who thought that

childhood times were long ago,

could never think that all that time ahead

We would be remembered.

They…

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They planted trees for us today.

They planted trees for us today..

The Envelope

The Envelope

There’s an envelope he keeps next to his heart

It tells of her love and her pride

for the boy that he was

and the man that he is

and her wish he was still by her side.

There’s an envelope she keeps next to her heart

It tells of his love and his pride

for the girl that she was

and the woman she is

and his wish he was still by her side.

There’s an envelope pinned over his heart

a symbol that no one can miss

It tells of his fear and it tells of his pain

It tells of his cowardice.

There’s an envelope she keeps next to her heart

to hide from the world how he died

It says “shot at dawn” and she loses her pride

but she wishes for him by her side.

After the war when the grief is still raw

and the graves are too far to go

a monument is raised to the strong and the brave

with their names engraved row on row.

His name is omitted

and instead is committed

to a list that holds nothing but shame

it says nothing of shell shock or shaking or fear

or the bravery he showed at the end.

When years have passed

and she joins him at last

there’s an envelope next to her heart

It tells of her love and it tells of her pride

and it tells of her longing to be by his side.