Red Paper Poppies of Remembrance

For those who leave never to return; for those who return but are never the same.

We remember

Red Paper Poppies of Remembrance

The silence of remembrance
At the War Memorial,
A place for shared thoughts 
Beyond the concept of borders,
Where ranks of red paper poppies 
Symbolise the hope for world peace.

Heads are bowed in remembrance,
A community praying one day
Future generations of men and women 
Will not have to bury their children 
And the whole world remembers 
What it means to be human.

Standing resolute in remembrance,
Legions of red paper poppies 
Recording lives, remembering names,
Like crosses in regimental lines:
Those who did their duty,
Recalling tragedy and heartache.

A bugle call of remembrance,
Memorial to family and friends
Who loyally made our world
A safer place to live.
A call to arms, remembering the loss
And their deaths on this day.

Tins are shaken in remembrance,
A percussive ring of charity,
While coins drop like petals
Beneath gun-metal November skies;
Rain falling as bitter tears,
Testament to memory and mourning.

Red paper poppies of remembrance,
Like the blood they shed for us,
The ultimate sacrifice they made,
Lives falling as petals in the wind;
Finding shelter in lapels to adorn
As we remember and give refuge.

Ian Henery