Lonely Generation

by | Apr 26, 2009 | Poetry | 0 comments

I remember a generation of old ladies
whose young hopes were dashed
by the horror of the Great War.

We always called them Miss,
never on first name terms
it wouldn’t be polite.
Stalwarts of the office,
wisps of steel grey hair
slipping from pins
anchoring their coiled plaits.
Working hard to keep their home secure,
to earn a modest pension.

Surrogate auntie to the children
of the few who had caught a man.
Caring for their aged parents.
“So good that you are there my dear
they are so lucky to have you.”
That’s what people said
never seeing the sadness
that lay behind their busy lives.
No-one to care for them in their turn.

Hidden in the back of a drawer,
tied with fading silk ribbon
a few browning letters
proof that once they had been loved,
but that was before the telegram came.


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