On cycling from Béthune to Péronne
The Chiffchaff waited
But was it silent?
For 18 months?
The bird heard in the dales
Called chiff-chaff in Kent
And Pouillot véloce in Pas-de-Calais.
Today we hear the same zilpzalp
From trees overlooking Vimy graves
Or shell craters and trenches.
Did they hear it too?