The Shores of France

Omaha Beach, July 2019

Frothy waves fold over themselves in lament

where the young men bled 
on the gritty shores of France.

Flying lead and crimson steel
destroyed the youth they offered 
like a sacrificial offering.

Blurred and stretched across the horizon,
their bodies were lost beneath

the salty tears of the English Channel
and swallowed into the blood-stained sand.

Now the streets of France ache with beauty
and tortured memories like a living psalm.
Its soil is a witness to the struggle against
the grasp of savage darkness that hunted to

consume and strangle the light.

The country churches remember the shaky warmth
of soldiers’ palms against their cold strength
like a scaffolding holding them upright.

The vibration of war is forever
absorbed in their structures.

But today the sky turns a dusky lavender 
as it drapes over France on a long summer night
like a warm blanket that heals 

a battered country.

Written by Emily Putzke

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