Blood Poppies

Memory is an imperfect thing.

But every year, they ask us to


something that doesn’t like to be looked at,

something we close our eyes and try to see

something that we can’t


and instead have to imagine.


So I close my eyes

and I see trembling fields of red,

endless rows of scarlet petals

wearing halos of light,

wild-willed stems

with leaves stretching outwards,

like fingertips scratching the sun.


When I close my eyes,

I see them blowing in the wind

like waves of blood on the silent ground

and when I open them,

I see the red flower in my hand:

a sharp metal stalk,

a black centre made of fabric,

petals made from plastic,

and I pin it to my heart

like it means something.


We all know it doesn’t mean a thing,

even though we want it to,

because being the people we are

means we don’t have the capacity to


something that didn’t happen to us,

something that cannot be traced

like a trail of blood in the snow,

something that begs not to be honoured.



it like it has passed away

doesn’t change the fact that

it is still alive and hurting people

every day.


The above poem was my response to my Nazi Germany Culture Seminar done with Hope. It was written in the context of Remembrance Day, which was approaching. The link to our Culture Seminar presentation can be found here:

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