Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Place that Held You by Nancy M Bell


Laurel's Choice releases December 1, 2023
For this and the other books in the series please click the cover. 

It hasn't been that long since Remembrance Day and my thoughts turn to those who went bravely into the unknown and never returned home. Some who came home did so injured both in body and spirit. When I was a child we lived with my grandparents. My grandfather served in WW1 with the engineering corps and his brother, my great uncle lost his life on August 8, 1918 at the Somme. Uncle Joe is buried in France near a small town called Marcelcave. My Uncle Jim, my mother's brother served in WW2 and spent time in a German POW camp before coming home.

There are so many stories that have never been told, and so many we are losing as these brave souls pass on. It is important that we and the younger generations remember those who gave their lives in all the past wars and those who are currently putting their lives in danger to protect us on home soil.

I love the initiative No Stone Left Alone where the graves of soldiers are visited by school children and others. I wish I could visit Uncle Joe way over there in France. But I hold him in my thoughts and I tell them all in my prayers "The Place that Held You is Still There and I remember you.
We will remember you, all of you.

This is poem I wrote for Uncle Joe.



Nancy M Bell 

Crouched and ready we wait,

Dawn is late in coming

And when it does it is shrouded

In mist and fog

It is more than the damp and wet

That sends the shivers over our skin

Anticipation and fear war with each other

Where are the tanks that are supposed to support us?

 Sky and earth merge when we peek over the top

Stitched together by mizzle and mist

Yards away, across the trampled earth

The enemy crouch and wait as we do

Where are the tanks? The support?

Whispers and rumours run up and down the line

Then—suddenly the wait is over

“Over the top, boys,” the sergeant yells

 And we go

Surging out of our earthen burrows

Running, firing blind, blinking in the fog

No time to think, only to run and fire

Ducking bullets whining by our ears

Then—it stops

I open my mouth and spit mud

Blood, hot and cold runs through my fingers

The old guys were right

There is no pain when it happens

Just a mixed sensation of disbelief

And relief…

Even if I die right here in the mud

It’s over:

The fear;

the wet;

the lice;

the killing.

Somewhere my mates are yelling and shots echo

But around me there is an odd silence

A separation from the man-made hell

One hand clutching my gut,

the other somehow still wrapped around my rifle

I let the lark song sing me to sleep.



  1. What a beautiful poem. For some strange reason, soldiers stories move me more than anything. They deserve our remembrance. They fought for a cause and sacrificed everything. They are the true heroes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lovely poem. My favorite uncle was Navy in WWII. He died at sea when his appendix burst and no doctor was available


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