He remembered gas, yellow shading to red as he closed his eyes against pain. He imagined Dante’s circles of hell invading Flanders fields. It seemed appropriate. Flesh burned, lungs, eyes, all agonized, all crying death’s refrain.
He remembered waking in the hospital room where a starch-faced nurse declared him lucky as he labored for air.
“You’ll have to work outdoors in future,” said the doctor. War was done. So today he lay in warm summer sun, scents of flowers tickling his nose, blue clouds growing wings over his eyes. The world shaded to red again while heaven bade him rise.