Fields – a poem

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This poem was inspired by writers Lily Brett and Paullina Simons, who both conveyed the human suffering experienced during World War II with great eloquence 

(image by Pixabay)

Fields 1

She dug with a stick

for swedes

in a snow covered field

no feeling left

in her fingers

or toes

Just a gnawing hunger

Out of tears and time

she’d missed the last train south

saving her neighbour

Who died anyway

As she dug

she consoled herself

with the past

a field of poppies

her and Marco lying low

hiding from Mikki, her dog

stifling a laugh

‘Sssh. Keep quiet!’

the dog found them

Every time

A train’s whistle

broke her thoughts

she ran so hard

her lungs were burning

across the ice, the snow

one last ounce of hope

Spurring her on

*

Fields 2

Hearing the whistle

Marco looked

through the slats

of the train car

at a vast field

where nothing grew

Comforted himself

with thoughts of his wife

in another carriage?

on another train?

Imagined their bed

sheets still warm

sun streaming in

dustmotes dancing

in the morning light

Before the intrusion

by strangers

The train slowed to a stop –

another bare field

they were ordered out

to relieve themselves

like dogs

Men and boys

blinking

bewildered

heard sobbing

kept his eyes on the ground

felt the smooth stone in his pocket

from their back garden

only yesterday

A talisman from a world away

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Shoulder to Shoulder – a poem

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(image by Pixabay)

I wrote this piece for the 12 Poems Challenge. The prompt: Gender.

Standing room only

Trying not to touch

Each other

Males, females, thrown together.

Eyes averted, looking out

The smeared window

At the grubby tracks,

The milky morning.

Air thick with impatience

Running late; a signal failure

Loud apology on the PA.

Miasma of footwear

A shoelace undone

Imagined herself taller

Looking over the crowd

Clear of morning breath

And faces not seeing.

Entering a tunnel

She closed her eyes

Saw people crossing streets

Above her head

Cars and buses honking.

Tried not to think of a great uncle

Shunted to a darker time

With each turn of the wheel.

Glimpses of dry fields

Through gaps in the carriage

As he braced shoulder to shoulder

With the dead and dying.

The weekend before,

He’d been playing chess

And writing a book.

Women and children

Separated on boarding

Never saw his wife again.

The scent of Chanel

As the train swerved

Surrounded by suits

She whispered a prayer

of thanks.