Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Whispers of Valour

The whispers came when you slept,
but they were whispers only
to you.
For me
(and our neighbours)
they were
moments of truth outside
your armoured charade.
The only instants in which you
the demons you'd brought home.

And I blamed you for their presence,
you know
in my moments of love
and the days of storms;
for your nights
beating out
those visions of torment,
until we could
no longer prevent
what was coming.

We never spoke of it;
you and I;
instead we smiled, politely,
and made small talk
in a railway carriage
on a day when the sky
had never been
so blue
and we could not
that to discuss the weather
was just as pleasant
as ever it had been before.

It was a meeting of minds;
a decision,
but not of hearts anymore.
Those we closed the door upon,
(like your screaming)
until it was over.

I wouldn't miss you,
and you wouldn't write,
you'd face each loud, infernal night,
all bombs and fire-fights,
without me
to cling to
and you'd be brave

And I would close my eyes
and crave
the man I used to know
as I listened alone
to the wheels on the tracks
having sent you back
to the viper's nest
that stung you,
stole you,
and spawned your horror.

And this, my love,
is what you and I,
would come to know,
as 'valour'.

Dedicated to all who love, or have loved, a soldier.


  1. Wow. This is stunning. You write the most amazing poetry. It makes me feel. It makes me want to cry, this one, and hold someone, make something better. Only they've gone beyond the place I can.

    This is amazing.

  2. This is a heart-felt sentiment and well-versed. Your poetry is immaculate and bleeding. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. breath taking. your poetry has so much emotion. just beautiful

  4. I love it when a poem makes you feel! It is my only goal when I write! It doesn't matter what you feel, so long as you do, & I love the variety of responses poetry provokes. Thank you for your lovely comments, ladies! :)