Peacetime

The Hundred Years’ War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the House of Valois, rulers of the Kingdom of France, for control of the latter kingdom. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.

I have come to understand that events over a period of twenty five years plunged me into a struggle of such proportions. As I have sought to reinvent myself I have  found myself see sawing back and forth. It has been hard to come to terms with the void that came after multiple losses. This poem, written in 2006, is about a personal war that was raging on many fronts.

If I could write
I would write about
when the war ended
I would record how
we threw our ration cards
into the air
and danced into the night
hugging one another

I would marvel
using superlatives
to describe
Little things like
Spring lambs gambolling in the fields
The song of
crystalline Castalian waters
gurgling over ancient stones

I’d tell of
pulling out sheer silk stockings
and my golden organza ball gown
to wear at the celebratory ball
of waltzing
with my one true love
to the sounds of
Horrie Dargie’s Rag Time Band

Maybe
After the war
I will write.

Heather Blakey 2006

Peace appears to be on the horizon. I can feel the creative force strengthening. I now have an understanding of the landscape of loss and I know that all I can do is carry those losses and manage my feelings. Maybe the words will come and I will write again.

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