“What is that flower there?”

my young son said to me

I’ve seen you wear it year on year

what is it supposed to be?


It’s called a poppy son,

it’s red and black and bright.

I wear it once a year -

To remind me of a fight.


“That sounds strange” he said

and looked a little sad.

He’d never heard me speak of fights

to him I’m just his dad.


“Was it when you went to school

did someone bully you?

I want to understand dad,

won’t you tell me who?”


I sat beside him and tousled

his blonde hair.

It’s not just one single fight

and yes son I was there.


It’s all the wars been fought

since many years ago.

In places near and far

and some you’ll never know.


For years we’ve fought in wars

and few we understand.

Yet what we do recall

is every serving man.


“Was it a long war dad,

and for what did you fight?”

I smiled and swallowed,

“Yes, my boy, so you sleep safe at night. “


We fought for peace

- if that makes sense.

To protect a way of life

and build a future hence.


“Dad, who was on your side -

were their friends and others?”

They were my boy and so much more -

to me they were my brothers.


“Where are they dad, all these other brothers?

I’ve never seen or heard of them?”

A tear formed in my eye as memories flooded back,

some were still but boys - not all became grown men.


War is hard my boy;

not everyone comes home.

It’s sad, it’s hard,

to come back home alone.


We did what we had to do,

we fought the best we could.

Even though we fought,

in a fight few understood.


So every year this time

on Poppy day you’ll see

this very special flower

it’s a reminder just for me


It helps me to remember,

the friendships I once had,

the friends who never came back home.

And yes, it makes me sad.


It’s more than just a flower

it’s a special sign.

It shows that I remember

at this special time.


The friends I had and have no more

they died so we could live.

There is no greater gift

a man could ever give.


Because they gave, I can live

and be here to be dad.

To stop just once a year

and remember the lives they never had.


“Dad can I have one too -

a poppy just like yours?

To remember the brave men like you -

who fought in all the wars?”


I’ll wear it once a year, I’ll wear it like you do-

then I’ll remember too.

I’ve never fought a war or even had a fight

thanks to men like you.


I wiped a tear and looked at him

and looked him in the eye.

My youngest son honored me

by thanking those who died.


I took my poppy carefully

and pinned it to his chest.

he smiled at me and said

“I’ve got it dad – now you can have a rest.“