Poppies Grow in Solace

0-Passchendaele-museum

Poppies Grow in Solace

They ran down tree-lined pathways,
along country lane and over moors
to cities where the King’s Shilling they took
to keep enemies from our shores.

To them, age was no matter.
Be they young or perhaps too old,
they were willing to serve their country,
to stand steady and be bold.

From the pleasant Isles of Britain
‘cross the Channel they did go,
to battle in fields and trenches
where now blood red poppies grow.

Through Summer’s heat and Winter’s cold
they charged and fought and died.
Sheltering in craters,
getting tangled in the wire.

The Somme took its toll on their numbers,
Ypres and Passchendaele too.
Whole families of men side by side
in mud that clung like glue.

A hundred years have passed now
since that war that is called “Great”
and lessons learned, not forgotten,
since thousands met their fate.

Still remain the hollows
in some places to be seen.
Do spirits of soldiers brave
still wage battle in between?

Now crosses mark the fallen.
Who in valour slain
rest eternal, not forgotten,
as poppies grow in sun and rain.

– 17 May 2014

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