November 11th, 2009


At the going down of the sun

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses,
row on row. We cannot even count our losses,
a generation scattered to the winds like seeds
on stony ground. The flesh grew into leaf, to bud,
to crimson petals (glibly signifying blood
to other generations' poets), faces turned
towards the sky. So many left, so few returned
to tell us what the petals meant, the mud
that silently obliterated, where it should
have fed (perhaps, in better times) the growing seeds.
Sharp retorts are laid to rest beneath soft mosses
in Flanders Fields, where poppies blow, between the crosses.

(with apologies to Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae)