EXTERNAL AFFAIRS /
Carmen’s Garden in Flanders

 

Not only ghosts of soldiers cross the battlefields
Which factories and streets now cover over:
Other lives led here were no less extraordinary,
The life of every wife, every lost child or father.

Among the poppies their Forget-Me-Nots grow.
Grief will never halt; her loss will remain forever.
Forget-Her-Enough to relinquish mourning though:
An evening must come when you enter the garden

Planted by a lost one amid what was once trenches.
Lift your face into the rain and grasp these seconds
Because rain will never come like this again, seeping
Into roots of plants, into crevices thronged by finches,

Onto insect-lined stems, as life ceaselessly reawakens,
Even amidst the unassailable void death leaves behind.

 

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