Wayfarer Guide: Seeking Solace
She like many others were proud
of so many young men marching
stiffly erect as the music blended
with the cheers echoed in the great
city. It was August 30, 1914.
How right and correct they looked
and he grinning. She adored his
smile. She remembered his hasty
fumbling of her blouse buttons.
To be closer to my wife to be. To
touch that which is warm, soft and
delightful-your flesh; ours to be
joined after my return.
She had resisted. A proper lady
would not have put herself in
such a position. Thinking about
how long he might be away, she
steeled her resolve and moved
love to the forefront.
They embraced and kissed.
After all, what could happen?
The cowardly Huns would flee
from the brave and determined
French soldiers, then in a few days,
perhaps weeks at most. He would
return to her arms.
By April 25, 1915 he was gone.
He was as though a baby had curled
into the mothers womb and
peacefully slept. Hair askew, lips
in a slight pout, his mother thought
him beautiful. She stroked his hair to
right it. Leaning over the coffin, she
tenderly kissed his lips. Cold blue
lips heightened with a soft red ochre.
This to give the illusion of warmth
How she hated the girl he had fallen
into an infatuation with shortly
before departing for the front.
Had she known, as he died he thought
only of the girl; her scent and beauty
was intoxicating. Her passion, not
even unloosed. His mother would,
approve. But, before he could write
a letter to explain; he was felled.
Ironically, the Yser Canal was but a
few yards away from their trench
line. If he had stumbled to the top.
It’s refreshing waters might sustain
all of the soldiers afflicted by the brutal
Their own training served to end
their lives. Hunker down, the
artillery is pounding away at your
position. Stay put lads, that shrapnel
will slice you to ribbons.
What is this, the mist, choking, then
blinding, can’t see where to run. The
disorientation and mind numbing
concussions; ack ack, where to go.
I’m so very tired, very very tired.
Many passed out, like her love. If, his
family would grant her permission to
share the loss and then to place his
body in the ground. His family
refused and barred her from his
wake and funeral.
She was devastated and
heartbroken. People thought ill of
her. Bound to be a spinster or
worse a jinx. Men, did not wish to
associate with her, owing perhaps
a misfortune; or even a muster
She bribed the graveyard caretakers
and they provided the location where
his body was buried.
Like others during this period, so
many young, innocent women of
of beauty were to trek the cemetery
for solace, comfort, or if they must
I was here to accept their final
decision and help from there.
What foolish bravado; a man goes to
fight the Huns – for your freedom,
and the best way to repay his
sacrifice is to flee out of this
World. Think on this, a world he
sacrificed his life attempting to
make a safe place for you, his love
and the people he did not even know.
We can repay their debt, by living.
She could not hear my thoughts,
tied up in this form as I am.
I read the faces of the visitors and
know those most likely to mourn
deeply or those who are not carrying
the slightest intention or desire, of
Yet, this trend is not limited to men.
The English medical corps are
staffed by men and women. Both
die when the shells reach that far,
and death soon follows them.
Agony and loss are equal in their
treatment of both genders.
Love/loss, while searing, and
torturous is relentless.
She walked along the gravel road,
and I heard the gravel crunch under
her shoes. It was cold and the light
dusting of snow would not endear
its beauty upon any one.
Her dark coat covered her shoulders
a fell down so that her shoes peeked
from beneath dress and coat hem
with each step she took.
Her cap was winter and allowed her
hair to spread gracefully over her
shoulders like a gift from GOD.
I looked at her face as she noticed
me not. Since, I was situated upon
the swell of the hill as she stepped
around the hedgerow and started
up the hill of Place du Cimetiere
Milita ire, France.
Stoic, vacant, like the war wounded
who walked the lanes and byways
of the healing city of Plaine. Hers
was a chilling reminder of the pallor
of death hanging about.
She did not wear the dark color of
mourning, but of an emerald green
and a lovely royal purple. Highlights
of blue atop crushed velvet gave her
a fantasy like appearance. In truth,
she was beautiful.
Come, are others about. Not, on a
cold day as is this. She had
something else in mind. I must wait
for it. She wept approaching the
grave. He long since caring in this
world, perhaps, waited anxiously in
Time would tell as she reached into