Flemish Tavern

A photo of the Belgian eel stew.He tells me that if you were a sniper in Belgium during the war, you wanted to be in the Ardennes when the rations ran out—there were still rabbits and squirrels in the mountains—and not in the low country, where the only heights were undamaged windmills, and you fished eels out of the canals. It was the big difference, he says, like—how do you say?—heaven and hell. The waiter places the bowl in front of me, its fishy green stew. Now, he says, eel’s a delicacy, if properly prepared. Isn’t that the way of every war?


Phillip Sterling is the author of Local Congregation: Poems Uncollected 1985-2015, from Main Street Rag.

Photo Credit: mari

3 Responses to “Flemish Tavern”

  1. Justinian says:

    Nicely expressed! That was really poetic. It’s not only the clarity, but also the strength of the war atmosphere that comes to life. Even if the conflict ends at some time in history, it will live on inside us forever.

  2. Bob & Judy Porter says:

    Enjoyed it!

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