Nineteen Fourteen

1914 was a gorgeous year.

God out did himself.

It was a summer fit for

ennui, revelry,

jaunts in motorcars

along the Cote d’Azur,

the Dover cliffs,

the Austrian Alps.

And the nights,

they were sprinkled

with the laden scent of lavender,

the sound of drunken songs

on the Unter den Linden.

1913 had been awful by comparison,

rained all summer,

and the people,

cooped up inside,

played quoits

or listened to the stiff phonograph

squeaking out Caruso.

But 1914 was splendid,

with balls and picnics

and plenty of love-making

that June and July.

And the fields of Flanders

bloomed with a million poppies,

bloodshot,

like the revelers

who stumbled into them,

drowning,

waking up to a hangover.

Copyright 2014 Ricky Barrow

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