The Poppy

When I see a poppy
I see the symbol
of something that
it’s easy to forget;
not a logo, a stripe
or a statement of rank.
It’s neither corporate image
nor party colour,
nor crucifix.
It is not even…

…a badge of honour.

It’s only a symbol,
designed to jolt
our memories.
It’s not to be taken
as hostage
by those with ‘affiliations’!
Nor to be hijacked
for personal ends.

It is for humanity
for non-affiliated
family and community;
national and international
universal praise and pride…

…in humanity.

You’ve only to imagine
you’re facing an adversary,
in whose hands
your life may be held;
imagine that all you think,
in any one moment
of extreme danger,
is your preparedness
to sacrifice your life
for your friends,
who stand beside you,
your comrades in arms;
for your family
and community
and to demonstrate…

…ultimate loyalty

It is not for self-interest
nor to promote
your image;
it is for real heroes,
whose blood we see
as a bright red carpet
of papaveraceae.

…and each flower
is a life.

(Read the author’s commentary on this poem)

© 2011 John Anstie

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