Online Poetry

The inquisitive mind of a child

Why are they selling poppies, Mummy?
Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love.
For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.
But why, Mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child.
For the world is forgetting again.
Author Unknown

Please wear a poppy

“Please wear a poppy”, the lady said,
And held one forth, but I shook my head.
Then stopped and watched as she offered them here,
And her face was old and lined with care;
But beneath the scares the years ha made,
there remained a smile that refused to fade.
A boy came whistling down the street,
Bouncing along on care-free feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun,
“Lady” he said, “Can I have one?”
When she’s pinned it on, he turned to say:
“Why do we wear a poppy today?”
the lady smiled in her wistful way,
and she answered “This is Remembrance Day,
and the poppy there is a symbol for
the gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free-
that’s why we wear a poppy, you see.
I had a boy about your size,
with golden hair and big blue eyes,
he loved to play and jump and shout,
free as a bird, he would race about.
As the years went by, he learned and grew,
And became a man - as you will too.
He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,
But he’d been with us such a little while,
When war broke out and he went away, I still remember that day,
when he smiled at me and said “Goodbye,
I’ll be back soon, Mum, so please don’t cry”.
But the war went on and he had to stay,
And all I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of the awful fight
(I can see it still in my dreams at night),
with the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
and the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.
Till at last, at last, the war was won –
And that’s why we wear a poppy, son”
The boy turned as if to go, then he said:
“Thanks lady I’m glad to know.
That sure did sound like an awful fight,
but your son – did he come back alright?”
A tear rolled down each faded cheek;
She shook her head but didn’t speak.
I slunk away in a sort of shams,
And if you were me,
you’d have done the same.
For our thanks, in giving, is oft delayed,
though our freedom was brought – and thousands paid!
And so, when we see a poppy worn;
let us reflect on the burden borne
by those who gave their very all
when asked to answer their country’s call
that we at home in peace might live,
then wear a poppy! Remember - and GIVE.

Poetry of World War I