FORGOTTEN HEROES - WOMEN OF WAR

a poem by Jannine Weeratunga, South Africa

They stood at the train station, blowing kisses with love,
Waiting and waiting for the train to move off;
Sending their loved ones off to the war,
Men and boys leaving families they adored.

They wrote of love, loving and lust,
Waiting and waiting as his clothes gathered dust,
Not knowing where or how he might be,
Or whether each other again they would see.

It’ll be over soon, letters home would reply,
Waiting and waiting as long days drifted by;
No news was a killer, destroyed theirs souls,
Days with no end left them lonely and cold.

Women with children and babes in the womb,
Waiting and waiting for him to come home;
But how will he be when his war is over,
The same man who left, friend, husband, lover?

War gardens planted and children schooled,
Waiting and waiting, but no-one was fooled
As summer was replaced by winter’s cold,
The rhetoric of leaders futile and old.

Women built planes, bombs and ammunition,
But inside waiting and waiting with anticipation
For that telegram to come that all women dread,
The one saying MIA or worse he was dead.

Those women kept going by loyalty and love,
Waiting and waiting for a sign from above
That he was safe and still coming home,
Not dead in the trenches, abandoned…… alone

It was quiet in the street when the postman passed by,
For some waiting and waiting was over with a cry
Of anguish and loss of their brave men,
Who would never come and see them again.

They stood at the station, hugging and kissing,
Then waiting and waiting as a loved one went missing,
Now his war is over and she was so brave,
The children never seeing her weep at his grave.

Today I want to say to those women of war,
Who waited and waited for the loved ones they adored;
We do not forget, you were sad lonely and blue,
But today I am here, strong, healthy because of you.



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