In World War Two this place was run
by millions of single mums;
who tried not to think about the fact
their husbands might not be coming back.
They worked in homes and factories
with welding torch and on their knees
to scrub the floors and pray to God
to keep their men above the sod.
And if the letters ceased for weeks
they grinned and bent their backs to seek
some way to make the horror pass
until a bundle came at last:
a vent for joy and time to make
a hoarded flour and sugar cake
with rationed tea and powdered soup
to toast the King and all that poop.
For war was time that women lived
like men until the war was done
and back they came: time to forgive
and laugh and give back all they’d won.