Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Poppies

Why Poppies

We did not see the child all of sixteen years old,
with his jammed rifle still in hand.
We did not see the child's father lying in the crater.
We did not hear the yell of the commander
Advance! Retreat! Advance!

These were the men, who where brave and bold.
These were the men who had gone to the grave
fighting for a home far away.
Please be silent for the moment to remember

Look upon the crosses of those who have died.
Won't you you listen to their desperate cries!
Please! Oh please! Give us no reason
for bright red poppies.

Can those of us who had not been there
understand the pain?
Most of us take for granted that we have our liberty.
Please take a moment in prayer
to thank those who kept us free.

Remember the long ago soldier who died
upon the field.
Fighting in a senseless war
he did not understand.
So he could bring freedom
for his fellow man.

Always remember their final questions.
Why us? Why war? Why the need for poppies?
How come we can't have peace?


I wrote this in 1985 in high school, after having a conversation with a very old fellow at the bus stop uptown. He was selling poppies and looked cold so I got him a tea. His story was sad and inspiring at the same time. I wish I had gotten his name. To this man and all the vetren before and after him thank you.

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