Poems of the Week

Flanders Field Day

by Julia Griffin

“Farmer moves border stone for tractor—and makes Belgium bigger …
The boundary between France and Belgium is believed to have been inadvertently redrawn
by a farmer who found the 200-year-old border stone marking the divide in an inconvenient
location for his tractor. …
While amused by the enlargement of his town, David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, gently
pointed out that the farmer was legally obliged to move the border stone back—and that it would be
best not ‘to create a diplomatic incident’.

The Guardian

In Flanders fields, where turnips grow,
And other things you have to hoe,
There stands a boulder, two-foot high:
That is, there stood. But now, oh my!
Diplomacy’s received a blow.

Was Obelix the culprit? No:
It was a farmer, keen to mow
The site it used to occupy
In Flanders fields.

On Belgium’s side, le maire Lavaux
Is prudently exclaiming, “Whoa!
Let’s leave our ancient termini:
This move leaves France some eight feet shy,
But let’s not chance a quid pro quo
In Flanders fields.”