• Robert J. LaCosta

Poppies Purposely Pop On Memorial Day


PHOTO: POPPIES CAUGHT WAVING AT ME IN MY GARDEN.


The poppies literally pop in our garden on Memorial Day weekend. For those who don’t know the significance of this flower assigned to the fallen, here’s the poem written by John McCrae during World War I:

In Flanders Fields

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.

But why, oh why, do poppies open on Memorial Day? Inspired by the exactness of the poppies' commemoration, I wrote this on Memorial Day as I watched the powerful, yet vulnerable petals wave to me.

Poppies ©2020, Robert J. LaCosta

You rise from the ground like the voices of the dead who gave their lives with the color red You rise on Memorial Day as if to say heaven enforces the meaning of this day

You rise in a garden or a distant field alarming like the fighters who just wouldn't yield

You rise in our hearts though we knew you not and the paper-thin petal waves as it sways in case we forgot.


In times of crisis, heroes arise. Poppies remind us that people of courage have risen to meet the demands of the pandemic.

They foretell future heroes who will meet the post-pandemic world in all of the disciplines.

And it strikes sharp the chord of the fallen-yet-risen hero, whose blood was like the red poppy and who rises in the most timely fashion every moment we need him to bury our sin and pull us up out of the grave.

PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Nature is poetry written by Christ.

He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. John 1:2,3 NIV, 2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV


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