Monday, June 10, 2013

The Red Poppies are losing petals.

I take my camera on my lunch time jaunts, and I am glad to have caught a picture of the red poppy, the foremost flower of Memorial Day. We are almost two weeks past Memorial Day, 2013, and these poppies are a blend of seed capsules and blooms. This patch standing on my way to lunch had progressed to pods by time I took notice last spring. The whole story of beautiful blooming and occulted gestation is told here.

When I lived in Royal Oak, I often walked by a memorial with the lines of In Flanders Fields engraved upon the marble, and I would stop to recite it. The lines still elude my memory. John McCrae composed them after burying his friend Alexis Helmer. Poppies grew quickly around the graves of those who passed.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up the quarrel with the foe:
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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