Jane Blanchard: ‘Lex III’ and ‘Truce’

“Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem …”

Sir Isaac Newton surely got that wrong:
Any reaction can exceed an action
When conflict over probate comes along.

Attorneys help a caveat get traction;
All hell breaks loose, and papers start to fly
Around (or not) to no one’s satisfaction.

The case proceeds as months, then years, go by,
With filings on the record date by date;
More relatives are born, and others die.

Administrators charge a standard rate
Throughout each bout of go-for-broke ping-pong.
(It is indeed a challenging estate.)

Such is the legacy of one ding-dong,
Some heirs of whom prove heartless or headstrong.

Jane Blanchard



Christmas Eve and Day, 1914

Along the Western Front in World War I,
When there was yet to be a World War II,
Some worn-out soldiers desperate for fun
Commenced an unexpected ballyhoo.

The Germans wished the Brits much-needed peace,
If only for the night and day to come,
So fighting temporarily might cease
No matter where participants hailed from.

Then carols were exchanged, not rifle-fire,
As muddy trenches hardened under frost;
Soon men were reaching out across barbed wire
To share a smoke or drink at little cost.

Once night was gone and morning mists arose,
Those game enough, though weary, played football,
Till orders made mere rivals mortal foes
And enmity on earth returned for all.

Too many on each side were doomed to die
Before the Armistice, before Versailles.

Jane Blanchard

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