Sunday, 11 November 2007


From a distance orange and yellow float on air,
Magic cups playing at UFOs.
A sudden breeze sets them a-dance
And you see they are balloons,
Hairy green strings tying them to scrubby green leaves.
Astounding that thin, weak stems
Can hold blossoms oh so proudly to the sky...
What cheek to offer up such glaring gifts, my friends,
While all your neighbours still struggle to escape their winter greys.

You were given leave to be here years ago,
Young fingers clutching tiny seeds in new delight at playing god
And laughing in amazement when you peeked out from your bristled hoods.
But now, if wild is to be free of care,
You are free...
And if you choose to spread yourselves
In weedy pleasure 'round the yard,
Those who remember your small beginnings
Applaud your strength, and only forbid
Your claim of the pea patch.

All else is yours.
Yes, even in your drab September --
For as long as you can wave to me in May
That glorious, shining shock of orange-gold
The child can still see chubby hands that brought you here
And bend to see the sun at heart that always brings you back.


Mom let me plant Icelandic Poppies in the yard when I was little. All these years later they're weeds, but they're one of my favourite flowers in the spring anyway. Dad's learned to put up with my thing for poppies and is good about leaving me a patch even now.

Not exactly the poppy one thinks about on Remembrance Day, true, but I still like the poem.

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