Here in the long white ward I stand,
Pausing a little breathless space,
Touching a restless fevered hand,
Murmuring comfort's commonplace -
Long enough pause to feel the cold
Fingers of fear about my heart;
Just for a moment, uncontrolled,
All the pent tears of pity start.
While here I strive as best I may,
Strangers' long hours of pain to ease,
Dumbly I question - Far away
Lies my beloved even as these?
- Miss G. M. Mitchell
About the Poet: N/A. There is no information available on this poet.
Interpretation: This poem exudes grief, loss, and pain. It is about a nurse caring for soldiers who remind her of her own love, who is also a soldier far away from her. It is about the pain that these soldiers go through, and that this particular nurse is hoping that her precious love is not wounded like the men she is treating and that he is safe in the front.
Connection to Vic High: At Vic High we had approximately twelve women who had enlisted in the Expeditionary Force as nurses in the Great War. Many of them would have been the last person that the dying soldier would have seen or spoken with. Part of the nurses’ job was to provide comfort and small talk to give the soldiers a good last few moments of life.