Tranchée Alexandra Engelfriet

The forest had begun the slow work of reclamation, grasses and wild flowers covering the bare earth of a year ago, softening the lines leading into the trench but its rawness still hit me with a shock ; all the movement of the work, from the struggle of the bitter fight to the tenderness of nursing touch, stood there petrified in its greens and greys and reds; a monument bearing mute witness. I walked through barefoot, the recent rains ankle deep, emotion caught somewhere between curiosity and a nameless unease, between an impulse to run and the urge to look closer, to touch this cauterised skin, scar tissue slowly fading back into the forest.