Why Wear a Poppy?
'Please wear a poppy,
the lady said
And held one forth, but I shook my head
Then I stopped and watched to see how she'd fare
Her face was old and lined with care,
But beneath the scars the years had made,
There remained a smile that refused to fade.
A Boy came whistling down the street
Bouncing along on carefree feet,
His smile was full of joy and fun:
'Lady" he said 'may I have one?'
As she pinned it on I heard him say
"Why do we wear the poppy today?'
The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered: 'This is Remembrance Day.
"The poppy there is the symbol for gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free-
That's why we wear the 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 years went on he learned and grew
And became a man as you will too.
He was fine and strong with a boyish smile
But he seemed with us such a little while.
When the war broke out he went away.
I still remember his face that day.
When he smiled at me and said "good-bye"
I'll be back soon so please don't cry.
But the war went on and he had to stay
All I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of an awful fight
I can see it still in my dreams at night
With tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire
And mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.
''Til at last the war was won
And that's why we wear the poppy son'
The small boy turned as if to go
Then said :"Thanks lady" I am glad I know"
'That sure did sound like an awful fight but your son , did he come home all right?"
A tear rolled down each faded cheek
She shook her head but didn't speak.
I slunk away, head bowed in shame
And if you were me you would have done the same
For our thanks in giving is oft delayed,
Though our freedom was bought and thousands paid
And so when you see a poppy worn
Let's reflect on burden borne
By those who gave their very all
When asked to answer their Country's call
That we at home in peace may live.
Then wear a poppy, remember, and give.
This poem was found in Wales. The author unknown
Back to Index