Yesterday I was reading at Big Lit( https://www.biglit.org/)- a literary festival held in Gatehouse. This was no mean achievement for the organisers. It was a leap of faith – everyone hoping that live events would be possible although there were some online events planned as well.

Dove Tales (https://www.dovetalesscotland.co.uk/) is a charity run by artists and writers in Scotland. We were presenting an event focussing on ‘Women and War’

Wearing masks as we moved around from room to room in The Mill on the Fleet, it was good to meet up with folk not seen for over a year. Some easy to recognise in spite of the masks.We’re getting used to identifying half faces!

When we read, we of course were able to take off our masks. It’s strange how we have got so used to wearing them, so used that one reader had started reading while still wearing her mask and had to be reminded that she should take it off.

It will be some time before everyone will feel confident to go out without needing to take a mask. There is a distinct feeling of vulnerability that won’t go away for some time.

As the subject of our event was women and war, there were many aspects covered ranging from wars past and present, those working in active service, those caught up and injured as innocent civilians and so on. My contribution reflected on those left behind wondering when/if they will see their menfolk again.

Walking the Path

Today I walk the path that we so often walked

I see the trees that shed their autumn leaves

I hear the birds and smell the burning peat

but you’re not here.

You write of mud and rats in trenches

you long for letters and news of home

you hear the screams of those lying injured

and I’m not there.

Today I walk the path that we so often walked

I see the fungi on the fallen log

I hear the lowing of the distant cattle

but you’re not here.

You long for parcels sent from family

you hope you’ll get back home this year

you miss our son, you miss my kisses

but I can’t be there.

Today I walk the path that we so often walked

I see your face in every loch and stream

I hear your voice and feel your touch

but   you’re   not   here.


Author: annedunford

Now fulfilling my ten year old self's ambition to become a writer - it's taken many years and a long,long winding road to get here! After a lifetime spent teaching, making miniature ceramics, returning to teaching and training, I am now indulging in a lifelong ambition to write!

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