Saturday, 9 November 2013

Revisiting Day 115: Two Minute Silence

I can hardly believe it's almost a year since my husband came home. The time's gone so fast - a hell of a lot faster than the year he was away…funny enough.
The 18th November: that was the day. Especially significant somehow, being so close to Remembrance Day. 
The countdown seemed to go on and on and ON, and then, there he was, standing outside the door, as if it was the most normal thing ever. Exhausted; thin; with a few more grey hairs. Such an unforgettable moment. 
Such a wave of joy and relief.

I've been looking back over a few of the posts I wrote during his Afghan tour. Some still choke me up; not because of the words, but because I remember how I felt at that time. Emotional. Tired. Holding on.

This poem is from roughly a third of the way through the year. I'd seen a notice in a local shop window about plans to hold a 2 minute silence for 6 young soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The meeting place was by a bus stop in the middle of the village, so I took the kids along. 
Apologies if you've read it before, but with Remembrance Day coming up, thought it was worth revisiting.  
Lest We Forget.

Day 115 - Two Minute Silence

We join a line at a bus stop
No ordinary queue.
A small gathering of strangers,
all here for the same reason;
to remember six young men 
none of us knew,
killed in a place we can't imagine.

Their pictures pinned to the shelter wall;
smiling, confident, brave.
A quick snapshot
that every soldier knows
might be his last.
The one we see when they are gone.

Two minutes of silence,
Two minutes for them.
I steal a glance at my eldest,
head bowed, just nine;
Half the life 
of the youngest soldier.

I think of the family's grief and pain,
the sadness that must weigh them down
and engulf everything.
 I think of the hard road ahead;
the gaps that will never close.

And I pray in these darkest hours
there's some comfort in knowing 
they died with friends,
doing a job they loved.

However hard to understand.

The church bell breaks the silence;
time moves on again.
The kids walk slowly to the car,
my thoughts caught in a distant place
as they count the days till daddy's home.

Linking up with Victoria's 'Prose for Thought'


  1. Thank you for your poem. Give your hubby and kiddies a big hug for me. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  2. I can't believe it's been a year already almost. I remember you patiently waiting, and admiring you for your strength. Love that poem too...

    1. aw thanks Emma, think sometimes you don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only option x

  3. Tracey - I can only echo what Emma's said already. Such a relief that he's not out there any more.

  4. You have a real gift for poetry - this is so poignant. I love how you have the line on its own 'However hard to understand'. I'm sure that's one of the most difficult things. Helen

    1. that's really lovely of you to say. Know I was feeling very emotional at the time, which I think can sometimes make it easier to find the words. Thank you Helen

  5. That's a really lovely poem Tracey - it really captures the moment. How relieved you must all have been to have your own soldier home (though I'm sure it was hard for all of you to adjust, too).

  6. This is absolutely beautiful, stunning words. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get round to commenting on your fabulous poem and thank you for linking to Prose for Thought x