Sunday, November 9, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 74 - The Inquisitive Mind of a Child

For the Poetry Train, I've posted an anonymous poem written for Remembrance Day. I was born on Remembrance Day, and this time set aside to honour those who answered the call to arms has always been a part of who I am. I entered the world in an army hospital and was delivered by a captain.

May I take a moment to thank that captain for resuscitating me? I wasn't breathing when I arrived.

My dad was in the US Army at the time. He was a Canadian, but served in the army as a registered alien. Luckily, I came along just as men from his unit were being held back from being discharged after serving their three-year tours of duty. Single men were being shipped over to the Vietnam conflict. My dad was married with a newborn and was honorably discharged.

I've always been grateful that I came along just at the right time. I'm so grateful that my dad was a good sharpshooter who only shot at targets, and not at men.

The Inquisitive Mind of a Child

Why are they selling poppies, Mummy?
Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love.
For the men who marched away.

But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppies grow.

But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.

But why, Mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child.
For the world is forgetting again.

Author Unknown


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Not playing, but wanted to comment. I love the poem. I've not heard of it before. Beautiful. Happy Birthday to you too. :)

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I would be honored to see my peace globe flying on your blog for TT. You have just made my day. Big hug. :)

Julia Smith said...

Thanks, Sandee!!

Gattina said...

It's strange that your arriving too saved maybe your dad's life. My mother could leave the heavily bombarded Frankfurt when I arrived and move to her parents living on the countryside. Otherwise women had to stay in the city and work in the factories because men were soldiers.

gautami tripathy said...

Thanks for sharing this. I like it.

And happy birthday to you..

Julia Smith said...

Isn't it amazing, Gattina? I'm grateful we both came along at just the right time.

Gautami - thanks!

Anne MacFarlane said...

Happy Birthday, Julia.

Amy Ruttan said...

My Uncle Ralph was a Sharpshooter, and they wanted him to go to Nam. He refused (because by then he had been discharged), but he served in Germany just after World War 2.

We're all glad the Captain resuscitated you too, my twin. LOL.

Carol said...

Happy Birthday!

I love the poem...

lissa said...

good poem chosen, I didn't know about poppies either

what a wonderful story of your birth

Akelamalu said...

I have never seen that poem before Julia, thank you for sharing, it just says it all doesn't it? :(

Linda Jacobs said...

Seems like we never learn. Sad. But a wonderful poem!

Anonymous said...

wow--veterans' day for us is tomorrow and the next day is my son's birthday so now i will always think of you and your special story too

Ann said...

Happy birthday! That's a beautiful poem.

Wylie Kinson said...

lovely poem, Julia -- and thanks for sharing the story of your birth.
Happy Birthday :)

Jeni said...

Thanks so much for sharing that poem. I too, had never read it before and found it equally as touching as is "In Flanders Field."
Peace. And also -Happy Birthday!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Happy birthday, my friend!

Hillbilly Artist - H. Hinkle said...

What a powerful poem. Thanks for sharing it.

Hillbilly Artist - H. Hinkle said...

Oh...and Happy Birthday to you!!!

Alice Audrey said...

Well said.