A hundred years ago these fields yielded
grief, fear, bodies, blood, and mud.
Now, wheat dries golden in the sun,
leaves wave in the breeze over crater scars,
While the earth returns bones and bombshells
to the surface: a century of slowly expulsing the detritus of war
extruding shrapnel from its pockmarked body with the new grass.
Watching the history channel, and amazed to learn that even today, Belgian farmers keep bins in their yards for unexploded shells they find, and the army comes by regularly to collect and destroy them. What a legacy a hundred years later! I’m just finishing Anne Perry’s World War One series which has made trench warfare very vivid.