Farewell My Love
© Terry Piggott
Winner, 2014 ABPA West Australian Written Championships / Bush Poetry Competition Cervantes Country Music Festival,
She watches waves build up once more then sees them crash and rush to shore,
while out across the restless sea a blood red glow still tints the sky.
This lonely beach again the scene to dream of things that might have been,
her pilgrimage continues still, though sixty years have now passed by.
She rests beside a nearby dune her white hair silver in the moon,
this woman now despite her age has come to bid farewell once more.
Yet even after all these years, on days like this there’s always tears;
a special time to be alone and relive days from long before.
Within her heart she sees him still, this man she loved and always will,
his dark good looks and smiling eyes, as clear as though he’s here today.
She sees once more his handsome face; remembers still their last embrace,
then comes that sense of loneliness that never seems to fade away.
Their wedding day she can’t forget, despite her loss there’s no regret,
as fear of war was cast aside to celebrate their special day.
That time though brief had brought such joy – oh how she’d loved her sailor boy
and for a time great happiness; but there would be a price to pay.
Too soon the war was close at hand - invasion fears had gripped the land,
so forces were dispatched in haste to meet a fast advancing foe.
Great battles raged on land and sea throughout a world that once was free
and worries for his safety grew as time approached for him to go.
She’d waved farewell from on the quay and watched him sail away to sea,
not knowing then this was goodbye. But soon the rumors filtered through
of sounds of battle near this bay, just out from where she sits today
and then at last it was announced; his ship was lost with all its crew.
The telegram confirmed the worst; its message not believed at first
and like so many others then she lived in hope he had survived.
She prayed for months he may be found out on some island safe and sound,
but not a word was ever heard that might have seen her hopes revived.
There’s those who say his ship’s out there - beneath these waves he rests somewhere
and so she visits here each year to keep a promise she has made.
She comes regardless of the cost to mourn a love forever lost
and she can sense she’s close to him, but soon that feeling starts to fade.
The tears are running down her cheek the way they’d threatened to all week,
there’s no attempt to brush them off; her guard is down, she’s lost in grief.
Her tortured mind imagines then a sinking ship and drowning men
and even after all this time there’s still a sense of disbelief.
These memories she can’t forget, despite the years they linger yet,
those special times although long past still hold a place within her heart.
A sense of loss is always there; it’s hers alone, she cannot share,
her private and her social life must always be kept well apart.
Now wistfully she looks to sea; the moment’s past, her spirits free,
then painfully she stands once more beneath the moon that’s shining bright.
She knows her wait is not in vain for soon they’ll surely meet again
and wearily she hobbles off along the beach and out of sight.