I Would Send You Poppies



Fictional Prose. A different take on the message of Valentine's Day and the traditional gift of roses.

Roses, those elegant, timeless symbols of love, simply would not do, sweetheart. They are beautiful, yes. Their silken petals tempt us to touch; deepest red stirring our subconscious minds to think of full, sensuous lips, fast-beating hearts.

Yet they are not perfect. Down amongst their leafy stems, shades of green darker and more alluring than the sea, they are dotted here and there with pricking thorns, ready to pierce the unwary, to punish the reckless.

Roses. They remind me of the no-man’s land before me. True, there is little of beauty there, nothing beguiling or seductive, unless of course, you call the lure of death seducing. But like those stems there are things that prick and maim. Call the barbed-wire thorns if you will, or the mines.

Since we came here, we ravaging men, we have turned the earth over as we dug our own graves. We sank trenches, penetrating the earth with no regard to her pain. We have trodden roughshod over her features, pock-marked her face with empty cartridges, spent bullets, hollow carcasses. The wonder of it is that we now call her ugly.

It will not always be so. Rest assured that there will one day be peace upon this land. If I am fortunate, I may look upon it myself, perhaps with your hand in mine, sweetheart.

This leaden blanket of soil, this mired morass, will one day be restored to its fresh greenery. In amongst those waving blades there will be bright splashes of red; not of blood spilled, but of life renewed.

Poppies. Those small, fragile, delicately pretty blossoms that only grow after devastation, or so it seems. I hope that I am like them; that I might once again remember who I was before all this, and come to bloom. Am I not yet too young to wither and die?

So you see my love, I would not send you roses to mark another day of love spent without you. They are romantic, compelling messengers of love, yet I have learned that love is often strongest where it is most threatened. Where it is most terrorised is where it most profusely grows.

Forgive me sweetheart, for I would not send you roses. My love for you is greater than that, my hope for us far more compelling. No, not even from this far-off field, amidst an ugly war would I send you roses.

I would send you poppies.

From a Soldier to his Sweetheart
In the War to End All Wars

Thank you for reading. You can find this and more of my work here: http://spoldhamauthor.wixsite.com/lil...


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