Victory in Europe

Victory in Europe


I was not

Even a gleam

In my father’s eye

As he marched into


Teeth clenched

Jaw drawn tight

It was years



Yet today

I stood with

My village

And thought of


And others

I would never



Many laid down

Their lives

Others carried their

Scars back home

Like my father’s

A war he never

stopped fighting

Not all scars

Can be seen


Another war

Many years before

Both grandfathers

Trod this precious soil

Though they never knew

Each other

Both went home

With damaged lungs

TB and the other

Mustard gas


One I was never

To meet

Yet today

As Europe

Honours those

Who sacrificed

I stood with my village

In the land they fought for

The land that I love

And remembered





Author: Léa

A wanderer who has found home and herself in the South of France.

14 thoughts on “Victory in Europe”

  1. What a beautiful tribute Lea. It brought tears to my eyes.

    I often think about my father in the war; he was Chief Engineer on ships in the merchant navy, and told us tales of being ordered to change ships twice and each time, the ship he left was sunk. It truly was a quirk of fate that he returned from the war. I may never have been born! Weird to think about it.


    Christine xx

  2. WOW beautiful   Love, Joy & Magic always Su   Woman are Angels ! if someone breaks our wings, we simply   continue to fly …. on our broomsticks


  3. This is such a beautiful tribute to your father and all those who gave their lives in different ways, whether they were killed in the war or able to return home with those scars that wouldn’t heal. Whenever I go to a rememberance like this and they call off the names of people, it makes me cry even if I didn’t know them – just to think of all they went through.

    1. Sheila, I do understand. Yet, having grown up in California, it had a whole new meaning to be here where it happened. To think that one of my favourite beaches was a concentration camp… Yet they are the kindest people here and really know how to celebrate life.

  4. So full of sorrow – war always is. There are no winners in war. I’ve been meaning to comment on this poem for a little while. My great-grandfather was gassed at Flanders, but survived. My father said that he never spoke of the war and I think most of his ilk did not, simply because they could not.

    My Dad’s best friend went to Vietnam, and my grandmother was so relieved when none of her sons were conscripted. He knows that he is incredibly lucky to have not fought in a war zone. His friend is like my second dad and he’s a beautiful soul – and of course, troubled by his past and his abusive childhood. He went back to Vietnam a couple of years ago and built an orphanage there. THAT was his therapy, but he still battles with depression every day. How blessed we are xoxo

    1. I have worked with a number of vets who came for therapy due to addiction or a court order to get their families back. I do understand.

      In 2002, I had the good fortune to visit Vietnam with a co-worker who was Vietnamese. It was a powerful experience and one I shall never forget.

      There was a popular song in the 60’s, Where Have All The Flowers Gone? As they repeat in the refrain, When will they ever learn.

      One cannot simultaneously plan for war and peace.

      Gros bisous, Lea XXXX

      1. I do recall that song… Joan Baez, I guess? You’re sooo right: there are NO plans for war and peace… Have a serene evening, Mélanie

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