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Distant Footsteps

As I turn the pages of his notebook from the war
I can almost see him sitting there, in the heat of Jubbulpore
a soldier, far away from home, from friends and family
pen and paper in his hands, he sits beneath the tree
writing to the one he loves, careful not to say
anything which might distress her, while he is so far away.

He can hear the distant footsteps of the corporal as he walks
towards him very slowly, troubled by his thoughts
he’s the one who must tell him, the news that comes from home
knowing he must reach him, while he is there alone
when at last he reaches him, a tear is in his eye
not knowing if he can tell him, but knowing he must try.

The soldier sat and listened to what the corporal said
finding it hard to understand that his son was dead
his little boy was playing, happily with his toys
not seeing any danger, not hearing any noise
then the tragedy happened, his life was filled with pain
the bombers did their damage, he was taken by the flames.

So the soldier travelled home from that distant land
to comfort the one he loved and guide her by the hand
through all the grief and sadness, which they now must bear
with only little memories, left for them to share
then when his leave was over, he returned to Jubbulpore
to carry out his duties, in the second world war.

When he was back in India he would often be
whenever a quiet moment allowed, sitting beneath the tree
sometimes remembering how his little boy, all cleaned up and ready for bed
would often turn and smile at something his father had said
and each morning when he awoke, he would hope and pray
the ending of the war, was not so far away.

One day he was reflecting on his last time at home
when he and the one he loved, had felt so very alone
and how they comforted each other, with their love, body and soul
knowing their time was precious, as soon he would have to go
it had been so long ago, many months had passed
he just longed for the time to come, when he would be home again, at last.

He could hear the distant footsteps of the corporal as he walked
towards him very slowly, distracted by his thoughts
he’s the one who would tell him, the news that came from home
his wife, the one he loved, was no longer there alone
for she now had a baby girl, born on a November day
an answer to the prayers, of a soldier far away.

As I close the pages of his notebook from the war
my eyes are getting weary, sleep is knocking on my door
now I find I’m dreaming and a mist begins to clear
I can hear their distant footsteps and I can see them there
walking side by side, on a path where angels tread
a soldier and a little boy, who turns and smiles, at something his father has said.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Last few words: 
this was an earlier attempt at a story poem, which I believe still needs some work on it to improve on the line content. The soldier in the poem was my father and the story is factual, with a little bit of poetic licence.
Editing stage: 


I miss this? A lovely wistful story. I especially enjoyed the way even the near rhymes worked well. I did notice 2 things you could consider changing:
last line, 5th stanza : the ending of this too long war
first line 6th stanza .........on his last visit back home
both suggestions intended to help flow.........................scribbler

Thanks for the comments Scribbler and thanks for reading! A bit long winded this one and I think it puts people off.
take care,

author comment

I too had missed this most excellent poetic narrative. If there are any improvements to be made, I am not the one. Hopefully Lonnie will read this, Tim..


thank you Alan.

author comment
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