In the gardens and the fields

Over twenty years after the end
gardens still had hollow mounds
or curved corrugated tin domes half buried
some doing duty as tool sheds
many simply as they were
when the bombing stopped
full of the detritus of nights spent sheltering
while death flew overhead

Mounds and tunnels  riddled
our playing fields
dry brick-lined hiding places
against bombers seeking factories
and factory workers
to blast and wreck
we used them  for massive games of hide and seek

London streets had many gaps
festooned with stately spires of
purple flowers, amid mossy rubble
the occasional crumpled saucepan
so much broken crockery

As a child, my father collected bullets and bomb shards
watched fighters fall crashing out of the sky
and ran to collect souvenirs while the metal was still hot

I and my brothers knew wars last remnants
and played amongst ghosts

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Bjorn is the host at dVerse, and is asking for poetry about war. Thankfully I have no direct experience. This poem is a slight re-write of one I wrote a while ago.

19 thoughts on “In the gardens and the fields

  1. This is such a moving write. I especially resonate with; “London streets had many gaps
    festooned with stately spires of purple flowers, amid mossy rubble, the occasional crumpled saucepan so much broken crockery.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a chilling, engaging piece of writing Kim. It offered me a vivid and sobering look at something I’d never experienced, a sorrowful reality of which I’d been unaware. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Britain has a better collective memory for the challenges they’ve endured that the United States does. Our appreciation and understanding of history is lacking, and that’s leading to a lot of problems.

    I’m building a Facebook page, “Found Online,” where I can share links to poems I really enjoy for others to visit your site and explore your work. This poem is one I chose to link to. Check out the page at: https://www.facebook.com/joestoutfoundonline

    Like

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