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Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate's WW1 Commemoration Poem 2018

SGGS student Annabel Peet is this year's Young Poet Laureate (Warwickshire).  She was commissioned by Stratford District Council to compose a piece for 2018 Armistice.  We are enormously proud to share this thought-provoking poem with you.



Left at home, I wait for news.
Left at home, I hope for news.
I never know if it will be the last time.

I remember the first time I received
a letter from the front.
They said it would be over by Christmas.

Working in factories to send ammunition,
wondering if he’ll be the one to use it,
I try not to think of the worst,

but I know that women on the other side
are doing the same for their loved ones,
and each of my bullets will kill them.

Can I be forgiven?


I know she waits for news,
spends each day hoping for news.
Each letter could be my last.

My first letter to her from the front
was so full of hope, back when
they promised I’d be home by Christmas.

She tells me of her work in factories,
and each bullet I fire makes me feel
closer to her, as if each touched her hands,

but other soldiers on the other side
think the same, and hope that each bullet
fired from my side will not be their last.

Can I be forgiven?


I watch my hands hold themselves out,
reaching towards something I can’t see,
because I know he is not returning.
As I watch my hands, I wonder if
I’m a bad person for being angry
even through his death.
As I watch my hands, I wonder if
he realised that he wouldn’t return,
or if it just happened.


I stumble forwards, hands out in front
to catch me when I fall. I’m hit.
I know I’m not returning.
As I stare at my hands reaching out,
I wonder if she’ll hate me for
not coming back to her. I promised.
As I stare at my hands, I wonder
if she’ll realise that I meant to
come home. I meant to return.


Annabel Peet, Year 13

Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate