Image by Amber Clay from Pixabay

A voice he’s never heard,
Speaks words that are his own..
The gift of her, so far away,
Carries a little part of him home...

Charles carved the words in bright brown letters. He had neither quill, nor ink, so he had to make do with his fingers and the wet sticky mud. But he did it carefully.. Oh, he did it with all the concentration he could muster, like his life or that of his comrades depended on it.

And when he was done, he examined the improvised card in his hand. The not so fine print read... "Happy Birthday Heather"... and a date was scribbled beneath it.

Charles was more than satisfied with his work. He knew Heather would love it. He could almost see her response. The warmth in her words, the comfort, the faint but obvious desire...

"That time of the year again?"

Charles looked up. His captain was standing above him, beret in hand, an understanding light in his eyes.

"Today's her birthday." Charles said, smiling.

"Oh well, say me happy birthday to her soldier. But we've got to move."

Charles made a gesture of salute, and murmured a "yes sir" under his breath as his captain walked away. He then proceeded to store the card away in the inside of one of his combat pockets. It was the third one he'd made while away. And all that time, he had neither seen nor heard from her.

But it wouldn't be long now. The tension had not amounted to anything.. and he was sure that in the coming weeks, maybe months... They'd be called back home... And he would see Heather...

The sudden rush of feet snapped him out of his thoughts, as his comrades all hurried outside, each mumbling small words to each other. As he joined them he could make out some phrases...

"A meeting... home... advancing..."

He could hardly make sense of it all, until the small telegram sheet finally got into his hands...

He froze as he read the fine print...

He feels the currents swirling,
Even though she couldn’t know..
He reaches out when he needs her
He holds on, he won’t let go...

In the darkness, 'cross the ocean,
The seething foam of the sea..
Oh she's a light house, and a beacon,
She shines eternally...

Heather strolled across the fields, basket in hand, as she picked out flowers for the dining. It was past noon, and the wind of the approaching evening swayed the leaves from left to right, and from right to left.

Above her, little birds hovered, and the colourful butterflies that bounced just above the leaves made the entire landscape look like a farmer's paradise. But Heather had a lost look in her eyes...

As she picked each flower, she thought of how she had envisaged her life would be, and how differently it had turned out.

Only three years ago, she had been preparing to meet Charles, her beloved. Their parents had just finished the preliminary rites for their marriage, and it was only a few weeks until they would be fully married.

She had never seen or met him, as was customary. But they had exchanged letters since when they knew they had been betrothed to each other by their parents. She had come to love him, or perhaps she had loved his writings. But she was also sure that she would love him when they met. And she had been eagerly awaiting the day...

And then the unexpected had happened.. tension had brewed, and the government had drafted him to the frontlines, just like all the other eligible young men in the country. All their plans had been temporarily shattered.

And just like a breeze, three long and difficult years had passed. She knew he was alive, no one had reported casualties, especially as there was no fighting been done. but she was eager to hear from him again... She was eager...

"Sister! Sister!"

Heather could hear her younger sibling calling her, but she didn't pay him no mind. Little Harry probably wanted to tell her that her cake was ready. She loathed her birthdays these days. If only Charles were here, if only she could get a message from him...

"Sister! Sister!"

But she was sure it wouldn't be long now... There were rumours that the top government officials were meeting, and will be deciding to call back the troops...

"Sister! Sister!... A letter!"

She watched as Harry galloped towards her. What could possibly be so important that he had to come all the way out to the fields?

"A letter, Sister!"

She wanted to correct him, that this was no letter, but a telegram. She also wanted to quiz him as to why he brought it to her rather than seek her mum in the kitchen, or round the back... but the big bold words on the telegram jumped at her before she could think, or say a thing...

She took it off Harry's hands...


Heather let the basket of flowers drop...

The storm sets free a whisper,
It's turbulent words when it speaks..
The same lines, that etch her heart,
Those same lines, now wet her cheeks...



Okay... So this was a very tricky prompt.

My birthday is October 13th, and on this date in 1943, Italy declared war on Germany. This was the day in history that struck me, and I had to find a smart way to be inspired without actually breaking any InkWell rules.

I hope I did myself, the Germans, and the Italians justice.

P.S. The poetry is an edited version from one originally written for me by @letalis-laetitia (also known as @calluna). She is a beacon that for me, will always shine.

Thanks for reading.


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