From Bletchley With Love

by Jayant Kashyap

Germany’s war was waged, we had to make it ours.
It began then, an almost park given to us: a façade
of what it was not, Huts, a family of a hundred
hundred people to trust secrets to;

                          we began in quiet

and voice never defied us in six – many – years;
the war, at times, did.
In love letters they told us the sites of rendezvous:
every morning, codes that could never be broken;
nights, with those going nowhere:

                          days, bided away

in uniforms and discipline, by tables – laden with
sheets, and codes, and messages, and more codes –
and by people, from everywhere, with dancesteps
and pints – with more codes; even dances made up
of Roman numerals:

                          Bletchley was home; home

had alienated: we danced with people never looking
at them, they never knew where we learnt those steps.
The place wasn’t made up of words anymore, we
preferred silence; the death of a dog on the street was
hardly anyone’s concern – we had been busy
counting humans.

                          On the radio, Churchill:

We shall go on to the end … we shall never
surrender. In the Huts, we knew that people died –
and that wouldn’t be in vain.
Swimmers had been killing the mermaids, but then,
Turing in Hut 8 had been successful in decrypting
the naval Enigma messages; –

                          the Germans didn’t know

soon, then it changed to Tunny ciphers. Another
year, the answers were found again.
We had been working for the end; it took some
time, but it had begun.