War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Red Poppy

The days towards 11th November and after are always tough for many of the people I know. It is a time of long ago memory for our elders who lost their beloveds in the Second World War and Korea. It is a medium memory for those who served in Bosnia. And it is just a breath away for those who lost or who served in Afghanistan.

I remember as a little girl having veterans come visit us and bring us our poppies. They were lovely felt poppies back then, made by veterans in veteran’s hospitals (I date myself). I don’t remember when the uniform, plasticized poppies came into being. Somehow they weren’t as “warm” as the felt kind. Somehow we knew, the old veteran’s didn’t have quite as much of a hand in making them if at all.

We never missed the service at the cenotaph, my dad and I. Inevitably it was rainy and cold and the boys scouts would keel over, and sometimes the cadets. My dad would always cry a little, though his was a good war. He regretted never having made it into theatre though, so after he died, I wore his RCAF badge under my jacket into Afghanistan so that he could come along too. “We made it Dad” I said when the Herc landed.

And I remember the old vets in wheelchairs with blankets. In those days, vets were old men. I never found that ceremony too long, even as a little girl. I knew it was something profound. I always went willingly. Always wore my poppy. Or rather, my 2nd or 3rd poppy because they had a way of falling off and getting lost. And of course, we kids always recited In Flanders Fields by heart.

I haven’t got my poppy yet, but I know for sure it will be red. Just like the poppies of Flanders are red, o so red. Lovely, papery survivors.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Red Poppy. It was posted here on November 08, 2013.


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