The Relief

Photo: © Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. All rights reserved.

Belgian Flanders, November 1917

After days facing
pestilence bags, blue
and red yarn-ball
weapons, bat skins, and the long
black-beaked cemetery birds
we were relieved on the 1st
at 5 p.m. by the remains
of 7th Division’s South Staffords.

 

by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.

 

From Cagibi Issue 2: Four Poems by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.

Notes on Sources

This poem draws from Dunn, Captain J. C. The War the Infantry Knew 1914-1919. 1938. London: Abacus Books, 1994. 159. And from Machik’s Complete Explanation, Sarah Harding, Trans. Ithaca, New York & Boulder, Colorado: Tsadra Foundation, Snow Lion Publications, 2003. 235.

About the Author

Series-India-front-cover 200wElizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is a poet, translator (of classical and contemporary Persian), and corporate consultant. Her collection of poems, SERIES | INDIA, was published by Four Way Books in April 2015. Other work has appeared in Little Star, Talisman, Paris Lit Up, Poetry International, The Kenyon Review Online, New England Review, Ploughshares, The Harvard Review, Best New Poets 2012, and elsewhere. She serves as a Guest Editor on occasion, and on the boards of Friends of Writers, the Beloit Poetry Journal Foundation, and the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran. She has a B.A. and J.D. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College. www.elizabethtgrayjr.com.

About the Artwork

Photo courtesy of the author: Hill 60 (British Trench Map Sheet 28 NW 4 Zillebeke I.29.c). This elevated position changed hands frequently through the course of the war, constantly mined and counter-mined by each side. Shell and mine craters, as well as trench segments, remain visible today. Battalions of the South Staffordshire Regiment served here in March 1915.

 

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