A Little Girl’s Lament to Her Poppy

Amy VanDerwater is hosting the round-up: http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/

Katya is hosting the round-up: http://www.katyaczaja.com/

With a most grateful nod to last week’s round-up hostess Ms. Mac and her talented intermediate grade poet-students for inspiring thoughts of Veterans Day….  And with another most grateful nod to JoAnn Macken for modeling a tanka as part of the same Poetry Friday round-up…

Here, in honor of our Veterans and their families, is my first (deep breath) tanka.

poppy lament screen grab (2)

God bless our military families!

18 responses to “A Little Girl’s Lament to Her Poppy

  1. In many Latin countries Poppie is a name for daddy! This is touching!

    • Thank you for reading/affirming. I visited a cemetery the other day and there on the face of the crypt of a military man was “Poppy” in quotes between his first and last name…. Thank you for sharing about the meaning of Poppie as daddy–new for me; I have heard it as the nickname for a grandfather. I’m curious if you and other readers think the father or grandfather is living or deceased… God bless you and all our military families!

  2. What a touching, poignant poem!

    • Thank you so much for reading/affirming. Am never sure what I’m writing actually are “poems” in the formative sense. …God bless you, and God bless our military families, for sure!

  3. Such a sweet, heartbreaking poem. Glad to see you’re trying out new forms, too!

  4. It’s a beautiful poem. I’m old enough to remember wearing a poppy on this special day. I think the person written about could be living, but serving far away, or deceased. Either way, poignant remembrance. My father was killed in WWII. I was two, and only know him through pictures and family memories, so I feel so sad for those children whose parents are serving far away, or who have already lost them.

    • Oh, Linda, I am so sorry to read about your father. Thank you for trusting to share that part of your life history. I can’t imagine what it was like for you to be without your father–at least physically without him. I’m sure he’s always lovingly looked after you. No wonder you have so much empathy for children whose parents are on active duty or who have died in service of our country. When I started the poem, I was thinking WWI/Flanders Field. By the time I was done, I was thinking what you offered as an alternative–someone who’s alive/serving far away. Originally I was thinking Poppy was the grandfather; someone kindly pointed out that some cultures use that word for father. No matter who, no matter what circumstances, war has many relational casualties that don’t get counted among the fatalities. Our military non-combatant family members make sacrifices that I don’t think we fully understand or appreciate–unless through a lived perspective like yours. How rough for your mother, too! God bless your entire family. Your comment is more appreciated and precious because of your firsthand experience, so generously shared. I am especially humbled that you didn’t purposely choose to avoid the poem, but choose instead to read and to comment. The child is a brave little soldier; the adult, a very strong, generous, and sensitive soul. Most sincerely, Linda, thank you!…And since I think it never is too late, for the child, adolescent, and adult in you: please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. As a formal military service assures, besides extending its sympathy, the nation extends its gratitude to you. Thank you!

  5. I think this could go both ways, too. Either way the longing and love is true, whether Poppy is absent, or lost.

  6. Your poem reminds me of Missing by Cynthia Cotten. Do you know it?

    • What an amazing gift your query just opened for me. No; I didn’t know the poem, but now, thanks to you, I do! In fact, I was able to see a video interpretation made by students; the students’ video was the subject of the author’s post back in 2013. Having acquainted myself with both, I am totally humbled that my poem would even remind you of Cynthia Cotten’s. God bless you! Thank you so much for reading and leading me to find this link: http://cynthiacotten.blogspot.com/2013/07/farther-than-i-could-have-imagined.html
      God bless you! And, again, many thanks!

  7. Congratulations on your first tanka — love the double meaning of poppy.

    • Thank you so much for taking time to read and to affirm. Writing poems these days has really gotten me to notice things I never did before–such as the double meaning of poppy. Thank YOU for noticing & for congratulating my first tanka try! God bless you!

  8. Poignant in its simplicity, yet complex in meaning. Lovely. =)

  9. This is lovely. My grandfather, who died quite young, was Poppy and I always associate the flower with him.

    • Thank you so much for reading, and especially for sharing your personal connection. No matter how long ago a loved one died, it’s always good, I think, to offer condolences. Please accept my sympathies, and my invitation–given that personal connection– to take the poem and make it your own. I wrote so many different versions with basically the same words; I’m thinking someone else could take it as a beginning and make it a million times better! God bless you!

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