Bused tourists travel through with cameras,
bound to snap shots of old war memorials
along the Marne, on our plateau of tears.
Some may notice a mound near the banks
where polaroid splashes of wildflowers grow.
A place where those who live in these parts
know resides the remains of trophæum.
Reeking, foreign uniforms happened here,
collapsed in our beds, hugging their rifles.
Breakfast wheat, pails of milk, eggs, fowl;
famished, then full, ready to rapine. Not
our daughters but our lifeblood as sure.
The bull, dark peppered as he bellowed,
running mad, until he sank to his knees.
Herd, clumped and lowing near the barn,
chased by laughing soldiers with sticks,
scattered. Sunrise amnesia trudged them
back for milking – before they joined him.
A smirking soldier who was a farmer in his
own land used the tractor to heap them.
Not worth using precious gasoline to pyre,
there they rotted, ribcaged castles to rats.
Now a flowery displumement of death, only
by chance shall the random tourist capture
ghosts of our invader’s toxic memorials.
Video is of World War I footage in France (has minimal images of death) while the song, “La Chanson de Craonne” plays. You have to go to youtube if you choose to see it.
Björn is today’s host of dVerse’ Poetics. Björn says:
So now please pen yourself a new war poem. I think no matter our own experience I am sure that we fear what war can do, maybe it’s something you meet in the eyes of a refugee, in your nightmares or from reading a book.
image: “Les Bords de la Marne,” painted in 1888 by Paul Cézanne