“En France” by C. Jean Pearlstein


Vermillion trousers targets
Blood red French soldiers
Blood soaked fields sprouted
Poppies, blood red
Blood and bodies fertilize France’s fields
Verdant green and silent now
Bleeding up through two wars
The first, “for nothing”
Prince’s assassination and stale mutual support agreements
Bled France dry of one in four young men, for what?
Vermillion dye lobbyists convinced French
Procurers to use red trousers
Perfect trajectory for German bullets

Trenches silent and abandoned decked in lush forest greenery
Hidden atop hills and deep valleys
Profuse Allied graveyards sprinkled throughout countryside with the blood
Sought out by grandsons and granddaughters searching for meaning
Reminding grateful France of sacrifices
By Allied brethren.

Shiny black German crosses clustered in
Small, obscure places, shared graves
To not offend the victors
Of the peace that ended peace.

Special brown spotted Normandy cows
Viking cargo of first millennium
Chew cuds, nurse calves, roll in fields in bucolic splendor
Give special flavored milk for cheese, butter, and meat
Delighting tourists
Nourished in the blood that was
Spilled in the soil that
Fed the grass that
Sustained the cow that
Gave the food that
We ate on our trip to France.

C. Jean Pearlstein
© June 8, 2010


  1. lkthayer · June 11, 2010

    What a powerful trip Jean! I love the way you ended this poem …very moving. LK

  2. Roz Levine · June 12, 2010

    Great anit-war poem, such vivid images and the ending, the piece de resistance!

  3. Lordy · June 12, 2010

    Love to wake up one day with the world at peace….

    We need more peace poems

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