The Trunk

The Trunk

I climbed into the attic, brushed cobwebs from my face,
Knelt and looked around me, at my granny’s secret place.
I’d never been allowed up there, when I was just a lad.
And the thought of what she used to say, made me very sad.

I was always full of questions, when I’d sit with her and chat,
did grand-dad go to war granny? Can I see grand-dads tin hat.
Did he have to shoot a rifle? I bet that he was brave.
Did he fight in a big battle? When he went, did you go and wave?

But she never ever answered, all the questions that I had,
I don’t want to talk about it dear, it always makes me sad.
But I do know he’d have loved you, if he’d been with us today,
So never mind the questions, now go outside and play.

So I crawled along the roof space, looking for the past,
Would I now find all the answers, to my questions here at last.
Old pictures by the dozen and toys from long ago,
A wooden sledge that used to glide through long forgotten snow.

I opened this and pulled out that, searched the nooks and crannies,
looked inside an old dolls pram, that must have been my granny’s.
Was I doomed to disappointment, was it just a load of junk?
But then at last my eyes beheld, a dusty travelling trunk.

I pulled it out and read the words, written there in black,
PLEASE SEND THIS TRUNK ON TO MY WIFE… IF I DONT MAKE IT BACK.
Perhaps I’d have some answers, to my questions at long last,
Understand, just why granny, never talked about the past.

So I lifted up the lid, took a deep breath, looked inside,
And saw a wad of letters, that had been neatly tied.
They lay upon a uniform, complete with shirt and tie,
So I sat and read the letters, and then began to cry.

My grand-dad loved my granny, he didn’t want to go to war,
He didn’t want to tell her of, the awful things he saw.
He told her that, she should be brave, as he would try to be,
And ended his last letter, with a soulful simple plea.

We’re loading up tomorrow dear, to go across to France,
The yanks are coming with us, so we’ll have an even chance.
If you don’t get this letter dear, it will mean I made it back,
But if you do, then I’m sorry dear, but don’t paint the future black.

There’s so much I wanted to do with you, but you know I had to go,
Though I’d rather be, safe in your arms, and watch our children grow.
Tell all the kids I love them, tell them to tell their kids as well,
Tell them I kept on fighting, until the final bell.

Goodnight, God bless, my darling, I’ll be with you in your dreams,
So I tidied up the letters, pushed the trunk under the beams.
Thought of all the things my grand-dad, had written to his wife,
The sacrifice they both made, to give me a better life.

In my short time, I’d always thought, that war would be great fun,
The letters made me realise, that you lose, even if you’ve won.
Older generations paid, for our future with their life,
There should be granny’s AND grand-dads…not just a lonely wife.

© Martin Silvester 26/2/15

About the author

Martin Silvester
4402 Up Votes
Not a lot to tell...just an ordinary man...always loved writing but never had the time until now...hope I've got a few years left to write about the million things I would like to get down on paper be it in poetry form or just plain old story telling. Just in case anyone would like me to come along to their group and read a few of my poems live..I would be happy to do so within the confines of Kent or Sussex...I would just need to cover my time and petrol costs...plus a cup of tea and a biscuit. Just email [email protected] To answer some of your questions= ex-army..ex -jackeroo...ex-builder..ex-quite a few other things..still rocking...married...2 + 3 children...7 grandchildren...retired...love custard creams. I have now published my first collection of poems which are now available on Amazon under the title of..LAST APPLE ON THE TREE. The book consists of twenty seven poems covering a wide range of topics and emotions. My second book has just been published and is called A BREEZE IN THE WILLOWS, also available on Amazon. I hope that everyone will get as much enjoyment reading them, as I did writing them.

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Gransan1
5th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I loved reading your poem , which was excellent. I have written some verses about some of my childhood memories , unfortunately though nothing as good as your writing . Now in my seventies I wish that I knew more about my parents and grandparents lives . I think when young we were so wrapped up in ourselves and our lives to be too interested . Reading your poem has made me want to have a look for your books which I am sure will be equally as good .
Silversurfer9
5th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
That is truly moving, thank you for sharing it
Gwen45
5th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I love your poem Martin ,took me back to my own grandmother's attic !
PatG82
31st May 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
OHow I enjoyed reading your very moving poem.Its such pity
nobody talked about the war afterwards I lived in London
during the Blitz and slept in an Andersen shelter in our garden
with my parents and baby sister and next door neibours.3 of
my uncles served in the war but never spoke about it
Thank you so much for your thoughtful poem

.
Kes
24th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I so enjoyed reading this poem Martin, which made my eyes water over. So sad and so poignant.
WendyT26
10th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
DoreenM92
4th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Thankyou,keep your poetry coming
PamelaM889
4th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
The Trunk is very heart rending.I could hear the grand fathers voice talking to his wife. . Hopes and dreams smashed by war.
The sadness floods into the poem.
.Beautifully written. Thankyou........
JanetB76
4th Jun 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
A beautiful poem I enjoyed reading. Thank you for sharing.
Gwen45
4th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Wonderful Poem Martin
Mogs66
4th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Beautiful poem and very poignant
Yodama
4th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Heart squeezing poem Martin, sad but brilliant.
Jayne5
7th Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely wonderful poem Martin, it brought a tear to my eye I must say❤️ Thank you so much for sharing
Martin Silvester
8th Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank you Jayne5..
1
Thanks for voting!
Such a poignant poem Martin 🙂
Martin Silvester
7th Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Must go back and walk the the beaches again..the sea and the wind have erased the footprints and pain..but the memory lingers on..we owe them all so much.

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