Poem of the Day

1 Comment

Atonement

 

Coast of Normandy,

France, Omaha Beach.

Today the tide is out –

barely a ripple.

Cement bunkers and bomb craters

merge into the grass,

haunted

 

by d-day, June ‘44.

Wave after wave, forward or drown,

nowhere to go but falling.

Mangled tanks, body parts.

Blood on the tide.

Exploding cliffs.

 

Now the guns are sold for scrap,

the bodies collected,

laid in neat rows

in the cemetery above,

 

under white marble crosses,

so precisely placed

that if I kneel I see one –

if I stand I see thousands.

 

Oceans of crosses.

I read along the rows –

Name: Regiment: Hometown:

Creep soundlessly, with sickened awe.

Is sleep a just reward?

 

The Pool of Remembrance:

waterlilies soften its sharp angles,

wisp of a breeze ruffles the reflection

of chiselled words on the monument above.

 

Can the sacrifice be softened?

Can the past be put to rest?

 

In the distance the gardener kneels,

shears in hand, cutting the grass,

blade by blade. Around one cross

then on to the next –

and on and on and on.

Glenys Eskdale

Glenys said: I wrote this poem after visiting the Colleville, the American war cemetery at the site of the d-day landings in Normandy in June 1944. I have since visited World War One war cemeteries on the Somme in France. My sentiments have not changed. Nothing can atone for the unspeakable horrors these men endured.

 

 

 

 

 

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