ww1 women

This poem is in a ‘sonnet form,’ to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, 1914 – 1918.

I say it is in sonnet form because although it has fourteen lines, which a sonnet has, it has not adhered to iambic pentameter, ie ten beats to a line, made up of alternating unstressed and stressed syllables. My ‘sonnet’ has fourteen beats to the line, and rhymes with the next line.



On a crowded station, eyes, hands, locked in silent goodbyes.

Heedless to men in khaki, women’s’ weeping, cries and sighs,

he mouths the words, “I promise. I am coming back to thee,”

and boards the hissing, steaming train impatient to be free.

The train speeds away an army to its death. Men, lost. Gone.

Mere fodder for hungry cannons, so began World War One.

Later, she holds a telegram, the one word ‘missing’ gives

her hope. She kisses ‘missing’, as if sealing that he lives.

The tear-stained paper flutters forlorn in the letter rack,

an edge caught by a breeze. She hears his words…”I’m coming back.”

Anguished months slowly pass. She returns to await the train,

now sombre moving, with blackened smoke flattened by the rain.

Black coat, black hat hides sunken eyes and cheeks no longer round,

She steps forward as his coffin is lowered to the ground.

By K J Rollinson


3 thoughts on “THE PROMISE

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