I don’t normally publish my creative writing on this blog, but in honour of Armistice Day, I thought I would share a poem today.
World War One is a very important topic for me, not least because of the horrors and the sheer size and effect of it, but because two of my ancestors were killed, my Great-Grandfather and my Great-Great Uncle, and a lot of my relatives fought in the trenches alongside them and were lucky enough to return home.
But the effects of the war were forever there.
This is a very short poem I wrote two years ago, about visiting the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, where my Great-Grandfather’s body is buried, in modern day.
Dear Visitors to the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery
To break the scarlet threshold,
To wipe away the bone.
To skip over the dead bodies
That rot beneath a stone
To drop a chocolate wrapper
On some forgotten trench.
To sip at a juice carton
Whilst sat on a picnic bench.
Your feet crunch over metal,
Blown apart, shredded, destroyed.
Did it go through any body?
Or is that a thought you avoid.
To forget and forget again
The horrors of those days.
Chuckling and joking…
under the same sun’s rays.
by Eleanor Pilcher