"Please wear a poppy," the lady said
And held one forth. But I shook my head.
I stopped and watched how she'd fare.
Her face was old and lined with care,
But beneath the scars the years had made,
There remains a smile that refused to fade.
A boy came whistling down the street
Bouncing along on carefree feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun:
"Lady," he said, "may I have one?"
As she pinned it on I heard him say,
"Why do we wear a poppy today?"
The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered: "This is Remembrance Day.
The poppy there is a symbol for
The gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free.
That's why we wear a poppy, you see?
"I had a boy about your size
With golden hair and big blue eyes,
He loved to play and jump and shout
Free as a bird, he would race about.
As years went on he learned and grew,
And became a man, as you will too.
"He was fine and strong with a boyish smile.
But he was with us such a little while.
When war broke out he went away
I still remember his face that day
When he smiled at me and said, ''Goodbye,
I'll be back soon, so please don't cry.'
"But the war went on and he had to stay.
All I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of the awful fight -
I can see it still in my dreams at night.
With tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
And mines, and bullets, the bombs and fire.
'Till at last the war was won.
And that's why we wear a poppy, son."
The small boy turned as if to go
Then said: "Thanks lady I'm glad to know.
That sure did sound like an awful fight.
But your son, did he come home all right?"
A tear rolled down each faded cheek.
She shook her head but didn't speak.