I have just read about the death of a young soldier who had just returned to theatre after being at home for four weeks with his wife and brand new baby.

This is a rondel, but written without stanza breaks, and as always, not in iambs.

Today’s Soldier’s Widow
A newly widowed mother and her newborn son
stunned into silence, ghosted by dismay –
her family ripped asunder in the cruellest way.
No time to live, to love, to laugh – become
whole. Now she can only pray to outrun
the pain- escape, retreat, withdraw, hide away,
this newly widowed mother and her newborn son –
stunned into silence, ghosted by dismay.
She is angered by the whispers, completely undone
by the touch of the wrong hand, the play
of the wrong voice, the empty words. The grey
rocks of grief tumble, promise to defeat her – this numb,
newly  widowed  mother,  with  her  newborn  son.


2 Responses to Rondels

  1. Semaphore says:

    You handle the rondel intuitively with the subject matter, deftly enough that it doesn’t matter that the meter is irregular – the words flow with a broken musicality that reflects the interrupted life of the mother and child. If there is one thing I can offer, it is to perhaps consider slightly enhancing the title. Your prelude to the poem is so descriptive, that perhaps something like “Soldier’s Widow” can help the reader understand the context without the introduction – so that the poem can stand, as it should, on its own. Good work.

    • Sally j Blackmore says:

      Thank you for your appreciation. I agree wholeheartedly about the title. Naming my poems is a weak spot ! I always do it last and by then have run out of emotional energy. I think what I would like to get over that she is just today’s soldier’s widow – there are so many, day after day. Thank you for making me think harder about this.

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