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Aftermath of War



It was seventy years ago this May
The "instruments of surrender" signed,
The noise of battle ceased,
Everyone rejoiced!
Well, most people...

There were families who would not see
Their fathers,
     their brothers,
         their sons:
For many, it would be weeks, even months,
before they were demobbed,
before they'd see their loved ones again.

Others would not return at all.

Of those returning,
many wounded,
faced with blindness,
or without limbs they'd taken for granted.
Having to learn the basic things again,

Those unseen wounds
Shell shock as it was known:
It's easier to sympathise when you can SEE what's wrong.
Many sang their triumphal Song
Some felt under fire,
reliving over and over,
the battle,
      the bullets,
             the blood.

The Prime Minister said
"We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing."
True —The enemy of freedom vanquished
But Europe, indeed Great Britain itself,
was tattered and torn,
And whole lot of building going on.

Rationing didn't suddenly end.
They knew they had to make do and mend.

It was the time to rebuild:
Buildings, bomb,
       Lives, broken
                Relationships, paused

And build, they did
And industry moved
from machinery of massacre
To factories and farms.
And things were beginning to look up,
improve.

Rationing ceased,
and in their relative comfort,
people forgot
what they'd been through,
Well most people. 

©J Fairlamb 2015

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