Nanya Nyssen

Silenced Voices

Buried in a box;
In a cellar;
Two fully grown generations later.
Only curiosity led to the box being opened and the voice
finally heard.
Much pain, sadness, loss, anger, terror and death
since the voice was immortalised in pen on paper.
The winter – your last night on home leave before returning to war.
Late that night, the wind blew and kept you from sleeping.
Creeping from your bed, careful not to wake your pregnant young wife,
your head was swirling with thoughts and doubts.
The wind was whispering „this time you will not return…“.
Sitting at your desk, struggling to find the words to express your feelings –
aren’t you still just a young man, only 27 years old? But the weight on
your shoulders, burdens you with a sense of death. You are an old man
staring at the end of your life.
But you must write to your beloved wife, tell her everything you feel.
Leave her something of yourself…
Your voice from all those years ago, the night before returning to the
Russian Front in 1942, four months before your death near the Caspian Sea.
Your voice in the faded envelope and the rushed scribble
„in case of my death please send to my wife…“, was heard again,
from an old box kept by my grandmother to the day she died.
The voice that spoke of love, hope and despair across the chasm of time,
choking us all with tears.
The voice of a young, idealistic man looking death in the face.
„Hopefully, they are now reunited in heaven“ was all we could say.

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