a poppy in your honour
I feel you close to me tonight
though you are far beyond my reach
and will ever be so
lying as you do
cold and alone beneath foreign soil
in a field with no cross to mark your grave

You went away, as so many did
determined, proud and free
leaving wives and sweethearts
weeping mamas, solemn papas
stoic in the face of grief,
to join the mighty fight
that war to end all wars

You saw it as an adventure
a grand way to see the world
but sadly you knew nothing
of the brutal reality of war
The posters did not portray the truth
only glory did they show

I know that you died bravely
your gun and bayonet before you
comrades on all sides,
running headlong to the front
struck down by a single bullet
from a foe you could not see
How senseless seems your death
when you should be home with me

Alas your children will forget you,
so young when you left us
they barely knew you at all
but I promise you my darling
in my heart you will live free
you will never be forgotten
while there is life left in me

I wear a poppy in your honour
kiss your photograph each night
and say a quiet prayer
Lord watch over him forever
in a greater realm than this.

.

Comments:
 
kiwigirl   kiwigirl wrote
on 11/8/2009 3:40:49 PM
My mother in law is English. She was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the north of England in 1915 and later, in WW2, she met my father in law who was an airman with the Royal NZ Airforce stationed on the same base as she was. She was in the RAF. They married and moved together back to NZ where my husband was born. Her father, my husband's grandfather was a foot soldier in the trenches in France in WW1.

Michele   Michele wrote
on 11/8/2009 2:41:52 PM
Funny, our Grandma told us a similar story---they were 1st generation Brits from Scotland, living in Liverpool--my great uncle Finlay had gone off to fight in 1915, which made him about 17--Grandma was 18. He appeared to her one night at the foot of her bed, in uniform--she screamed, because she knew by this that he had died. I have a couple of photos of him--one in uniform a month before his passing. Lovely poem--reminds me of those old-timey war letters written home during our Civil War....

kiwigirl
Poetry
Free Verse
writing kiwigirl
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart
--Helen Keller
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Synopsis
My husband's maternal grandfather died in the cold muddy fields of France just days before Armistice Day, so around this time, in 1918, leaving his young wife a widow with 3 small children. My mother-in-law was just 2 or 3 years old at the time, yet recalled to us later that she saw her father standing at the foot of her bed, just watching her, the night he died.
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