The letter from the war that shattered the peace

A letter written

The man sits at a desk, pencil poised over paper

He squints in the dim light

The bulb overhead swinging from the shocks of the shell explosions overground

Dust falls on his head

In his quarters in the trenches

Dark, damp, stinking, noisy

The orders have arrived: they are going ‘over the top’ tomorrow

Hands shaking, but he must be brave

He must write to tell his wife how much he loves her

The letter will be sent only in the event of his death

These are words he hopes his wife will never have to read



A letter received

The woman sits on a chair, hands gripping the letter

She squints in the bright morning sunlight

Dust dances in the shaft of light overhead

In the peaceful front room of their home

The song of birds in the trees outside

The children playing quietly in the corner

Her husband went over the top

The telegram received weeks ago told her the news she did not want to hear

Hands shaking, she must be brave

This letter contains words of love

But this is the letter she did not want to receive

The letter from the war shattered the peace.


Linking up with Mum Turned Mom with the prompt ‘The Letter’


20 thoughts on “The letter from the war that shattered the peace

  1. maddy@writingbubble says:

    This gave me goosebumps -beautifully written and heartbreaking. I love how you’ve created the two scenes so vividly making the letter writer and receiver seem worlds apart yet bound by such a force of love. Awful to think this was a reality for so many. xxx


  2. Louise says:

    So beautifully written and so very sad. So many letters written and received with shaking hands. So many lives devastated and destroyed. So important to remember them.


  3. Maria says:

    Beautiful and mournful piece. I quite like the juxtaposition between receiving two distinct letters that will be infinitely connected. Thanks for sharing!


    • Leigh Kendall says:

      They did, it’s the first thing that came to mind when seeing this week’s prompt – WW1 is so present at the moment, which is good to make sure we never forget. I’ll be over to check out your post! xxx


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