The fields have grown over the remains, grass and moss reclaiming the bones, poppies sprouting from empty eyes, blackberries choking the trenches gouged in the earth. Pale aspens advance across the line, leaves upturned and pitted against caustic yellow rains; generations forget, but the forest remembers.
The forest remembers, bears the past within itself, in sulfurous sap and poison oak, grows green and lush on the fallen, a vegetal rejoicing at newly open space. Weeds grow tall and strange, five feet of barbs and purple feathers, waving spiny stalks that twist to track the westward sun.
Westward, wounds heal, bones knit, history fades with each dying generation. Old tensions are new again, old hatreds, old tyrannies. Armies turn inward, police roam the streets in riot gear and tanks, cities choke on bitter gas and broken glass. The cycle continues.