the day after the day after

heroic, not as yet battle weary

Northumbrians and circumspect

trundling, rumbling Cromwell tanks

liberate a barely blemished Bayeux

embroidered tapestry reflecting

perhaps a more advantageous

Norman fray, pristine, still intact

was the day she cast aside

all conceivable apprehension

let weakest knees carry her

to the conceivably oldest

of Notre Dame Cathedrals

her motive a conundrum

for she had given up prayer

the day her wish came true

once beyond the great oak door

by lonely votive candlelight, alone

she foraged for crucifix abandoned

four arduous summers previous

found it where she left it

left it where she found it

to the unsettled sanctuary of providence

outside, now a little drunk

on Calvados, deliverance

and revived freshest air

satisfied all was as was

lost in a fool’s paradise

she, at first, at least, nearly, failed

to notice the uniformed blind giant

inadvertently blocking her path

shabby white stick in one hand

bouquet of white tea roses in the other

“Parles vous Anglais?”

“Oui” her little person, potentially polemic reaction

“Pardon” his baffled, ‘wish I could speak the lingo’ riposte

“Yes, I do speak English,” taking him for a bumbling fool, and spoken in perfect Anglais

“Then these flowers are for you,” the plain words of an ever so proud sightless giant

“Merci” she accepts his unlikely gift, with a curtsy, a girlish beam his dead eyes disregard

jumps up upon the biggest man, legs wrapped around his slim waist

holds on tight to his ears, kisses him upon the lips, cheeks and forehead

in a berserk frenzy of today’s untamed, come tomorrows forgotten passion

suddenly a passive realization, that for she and Bayeux, the War is over

life can once more be as before

this day, the 12th June 1944



31 thoughts on “TEA ROSES & A CURTSY

    1. Thanks, young Marissa. The email notification said Marissa had commented…I went into a cold sweat…shivered a little…then, when reading the comment, saw you’d been quite kind! How are you by the way?

    1. Cheers, Paul. Many years back, recovering from an unfortunate leg injury I discovered the nugget that is Bayeux, so full of history, that I quite forgot I was in pain! It is the only place along the coast that didn’t get flattened of necessity following the D-Day landings as the enemy had moved out to defend the strategically important city of Caen, to the east.

  1. I have seen the war documentaries – people were overwhelmed with joy, congratulated each other, kissed and hugged when the towns were liberated from the enemy in the end of the war. There were no strangers, it was a joy shared with everyone. Great poem, Mike, you have that era in your soul.

    1. Cheers, Inese. I knew you had commented on a post because I saw it yesterday. Then someone liked 20 odd posts I’d made and the little bell thing in the top left of the screen from which I read comments became overwhelmed and I lost track of who had commented generally. Still, I got there in the end, my thanks to you and have the finest week.

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