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Head and shoulders portrait of a First World War nurse, English School.      Date: circa 1915
War Nurse

 

In the wagon she tears and folds

1234567by the light of a quivering candle.

 

Outside, soldiers surge and horses

1234567drop their dead and wounded

 

in the mud. The sound of shrieking

1234567splits the sky. Her eyes see nothing

 

but the place of return – the ground

1234567under her bedroom window

 

where dew-dropped roses wait,

1234567and only wasps disturb the morning.

 

 

© Valerie Morton

Picture 10726599, unattributed oil painting, circa 1915

 

 

Valerie Morton’s work has been published in various magazines and anthologies, and has won or been placed in a number of competitions. She completed an Open University degree in 2011 and has taught Creative Writing at a mental health charity. Her first collection, Mango Tree, was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in May 2013. Handprints, her second collection, was published in December 2015 by the same publisher. During 2016 she was Poet in Residence at the Clinton Baker Pinetum in Hertfordshire, running a series of workshops and publishing an anthology. She is a member of Ver Poets.