Fields – a poem

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This poem was inspired by writers Lily Brett and Paullina Simons, who both conveyed the human suffering experienced during World War II with great eloquence 

(image by Pixabay)

Fields 1

She dug with a stick

for swedes

in a snow covered field

no feeling left

in her fingers

or toes

Just a gnawing hunger

Out of tears and time

she’d missed the last train south

saving her neighbour

Who died anyway

As she dug

she consoled herself

with the past

a field of poppies

her and Marco lying low

hiding from Mikki, her dog

stifling a laugh

‘Sssh. Keep quiet!’

the dog found them

Every time

A train’s whistle

broke her thoughts

she ran so hard

her lungs were burning

across the ice, the snow

one last ounce of hope

Spurring her on

*

Fields 2

Hearing the whistle

Marco looked

through the slats

of the train car

at a vast field

where nothing grew

Comforted himself

with thoughts of his wife

in another carriage?

on another train?

Imagined their bed

sheets still warm

sun streaming in

dustmotes dancing

in the morning light

Before the intrusion

by strangers

The train slowed to a stop –

another bare field

they were ordered out

to relieve themselves

like dogs

Men and boys

blinking

bewildered

heard sobbing

kept his eyes on the ground

felt the smooth stone in his pocket

from their back garden

only yesterday

A talisman from a world away

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