Evelyn Morgan


In the Arms of Morpheus


He's a long way
from the dank trenches
of northern France.

It's been a long march
since the endless battle for Verdun
that defined most of 1916,
a long march since
he was captured a year later
and held by the German army.
The boy who left his family
behind in a small Provence village
is now an emaciated man.

His left foot drags a little,
a souvenir from the Great War.
His face bears marks from
flying shrapnel
and his eyes are deep tunnels
to his wounded soul.
Prolonged trench warfare
and mind-numbing captivity
have left him less enamored
of walls and floors.
He decides to walk
the last few miles home
from the train station
through the greening countryside.

Breathing in a familiar scent,
his steps quicken.
He follows the curving road
out of the surrounding forest
and looks upon an aromatic field
dressed in riotous lavender.
He doesn't mind so much now
that a hospital stay has delayed
his homecoming
until the heat of summer.
If this is his welcome
it was worth the wait.

He takes off his jacket
folds it into a pillow
and lies down between the rows.
Wrapped in the arms of Morpheus
in a cocoon of dappled purple.
he is shielded from the sun's intensity.
The heavenly odor seeps into
his tired body and heart.
It is Elysium for another age.
He feels home at last!

After a short nap
he rises, brushes the dust
from his tattered clothing,
along with the clinging stench
of that eternal war,
and heads for his old village
where his Maman will
serve him fresh croissants
smothered in creamy butter
as the family look on in wonder.
Where the entire village
will eat and drink,
singing and dancing
arm in friendly arm
to celebrate his return.

Submitted: Saturday, June 07, 2014

Topic(s): War


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I have always loved the scent of lavender. I wanted to find a sstory to tell of how lavender can help in someone's healing.

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