The Family Trenches at Home

Remember those farewells, strong hugs and comforting hands
The sounds of blaring busy airports, and perhaps military bands
Or a noisy siren beckoning from a troop ship eager to sail
So many heavy hearts, yet duty and love of country prevail

Then the long wait, season after season
Of masked pain, forced smiles, and seeking sound reason
A half-filled bed, empty chair, and no wet towels on a bathroom floor
Deafening silence, just faint echoes of laughter bouncing past doors

Grass widows’ nursing fevers, cuts, and a dare devil with plaster cast
Or trying to start a stubborn mower to cut the grass
Switching off the children’s bedrooms lights, at long, long last
Being both Mum and Dad is certainly no easy task

News of battles on a blinking screen, is a reminder of the cruel waiting game
A radio hints of casualties, dead and wounded, yet no names
Always the never ending waits, for a dreaded knock on the front door
The messenger of death drives by, and trembling sighs of relief once more

Then mid a crowded, joyful, throng, is at last the magic powerful embrace
A family united once more, and striding forward in life’s race
Alas, no medals for those guarding home and family, day and night
So proud salutes to these silent heroes, who kept home fires burning bright

By George Mansford
© February 2023


FILE PHOTO: Blake, Shay and family friend Petty Officer Tamara Prins wait for Petty Officer Joseph Muckenthaler to arrive home as HMAS Anzac returns from deployment to Fleet Base West in Western Australia. Photo by Seaman Richard Edwards.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “The Family Trenches at Home

  • 16/02/2023 at 11:00 am

    Darra State School 1967/1968/1969.
    Bandiana State School 1970.
    Heavy footsteps in the hall.
    Little kids TERRIFIED.
    The Head master and the Camp Padre, sullen faced enter the Class room.
    ‘Not MY Dad’.
    ‘PLEASE not MY Dad’
    Waiting to see who’s name is called.
    A Child taken away, sobbing with fear.
    We never see them again.
    Family and furniture gone from the Married Quarters in days.
    School friends just disappeared.
    Happened a lot when I was kid.

    Thanks for nothing America.



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