by Debbie
Year: 
2015

Blood masks the lea, the blasted loam
upon whose breasts soldiers came home.
The earth, herself, held each to chest,
the mist of sky killed with each breath
as ruined green became their tomb. 
Men strafed by shells and gassed by fume:
cast akimbo, blown to their doom
entrenched, barb fenced; death coalesced;
blood masks the lea.

Eight million French, their valor showed;
most shy twenty lay beneath stone:
Russians, Brits, Italians, Yanks, rest
thirty-seven million, our best
slaughtered and listed in old tomes;
blood masks the lea.

French Rondeau After:Flanders Fields by John McCrae

                                    In Flanders Fields, by Dirk Lemmens, 1959

First Published in Ekphrastic: Writing and Art 2015 

 

 

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