Roses are shining in Picardy

Roses are shining in Picardy       alongside
the graves of those who fell at the Somme—rolling green
hills amid patches of ancient woodland    Patsy
and I drove through the region one summer under
a glorious sea-blue sky
                                   the pity of war
palpable on all sides—vast fields of white crosses
neatly corralled within beds of blood-red roses
Outside young children are bouncing on trampolines
adults are preparing to light their barbecues
the charred flesh of pork of lamb and chicken will soon
be on the menu       the air will fill with laughter
A song stirs in the silence
                                Remember Ypres
Remember Gallipoli—the past is another country
               Remember the bygone tears

John Lyons

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