A painting by my friend Serena Stevens may she rest in peace she battled cancer as valiantly as any soldier
November is a month to remember. Loved ones lost to all kinds of battles… on the front in war, of course, but there are other battles that some folk wage against disease – that dreaded, insidious, cancer; stroke victims, who wage a daily battle with bodies unwilling and unable to respond to the simplest of their wills; so many other ailments and conditions that render folk dealing with pain on a sub-chronic daily basis, the list is a long one. This November I’d like to remember them all.
I can’t name them, but they are all my heroes.
You and you and you, who see
Life ebbing by in slow degrees
For whom there was a time, I know
When nothing ever went so slow
Today your speech is locked behind
An uncooperative mind.
And you, why half your body can’t
Respond to anything you want.
And then there’s one who cannot turn
For pain that through his body burns
And there’s another one who, while
Her spirit breaks, yet she can smile.
Some have lost their limbs to bombs
And still they somehow all limp on
We know not who has been in war
But this we know, and know for sure
There are brave soldiers everywhere
Who need to know that we do care
For them, our poppies red
We wear and still a tear or two we’ll shed.
Fight on you brave immortal souls
The day will come, you’ll reach your goal.
And for those who are thinking of loved ones lost in war I have this to say in remembrance of ‘Poppy Day’.
The famous poem by John McCrae is reproduced below:
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 our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing 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.
With so many wars that have been fought since that poem was written, I’d like to change it around a bit
Forget that quarrel with our foe
‘twill only lead to e’er more woe.
And who is foe may in the end
Turn ‘round and some day be a friend.
The only faith, that we need keep
Is, to try and end each day in peace.
Let the poppies, sweetly blow
Lest we forget those laid below
And should our leaders want a fight,
And rant and rave about what’s right,
Let’s hide the guns and send them in
To face each other in the ring.
Note: This post was first published a year ago. I have reworked it for the reasons above.