Posted in memoir, poetry, Uncategorized

The Telegram, a Memorial Day Poem

Something light and happy is promised for the next post. Really! Thank you readers for signing up. I acknowledge you all.

Mother 1944

Written for my mother who would have been 95 in June.

My mother, Jean married her small town sweetheart, Karl. He was sent to war and died in 1945.  Soon after she lost her husband, she miscarried his baby. A few years later, she met my father and right away  he got shipped out to Okinawa. She had to wait almost a year for him.  Uncertainty became a daily condition.

the telegram

           The Telegram

The woman in a Red Cross uniform

Cradles the telegram in her trembling hands.

Her man, name listed, will return no more,

His body returned to the earth, by war.

The woman in her daily work

Hides her flooded eyes from others

The tall husband, his gaze, his looks

Are tucked into photos among her books.

Busy officials dictate to bobbed secretaries

As they type, zipping out letter after letter.

The telegrams and  crackling phones

Announce the men who won’t come home.

The broken purple endless fray,

The ribboned medal delivered to her,

As morning light dawns, shedding the  fretted night,

She searches for something to make it  right.

© 2013 by Susan E. Rowland


Journal suggestion: take an old photograph such as the one above and enlarge a section. Study the faces of the soldiers. Then do a  free write. Give them names. What do you imagine about their personalities? Are there any men of color or women in this group  of officer candidates? What was the sociopolitical climate among soldiers in the 1940’s?

Consider: what would you write about in a letter to the soldiers?

Happy journaling!


I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

3 thoughts on “The Telegram, a Memorial Day Poem

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s