Regret To Inform You: Eliza, March 1916
from imaginary conversations with my grandfather –
a snapshot of my great grandmother, Eliza, and the horrors of war.
In her flint-walled cottage
your mother braces bowed shoulders
searches dresser drawers
retrieves her blacks, hands shaking.
Off the village green
the old church steeple trembles
in its timbers and reeded stone
bells tolling, cracked clock face stopped.
And still, across the Channel,
the maw-trenched killing fields continue
to open and swallow. Open and swallow.