The trials which have smothered you and frozen all your dreams
(Those icy fingers down your spine unraveled all your seams)
Are burdens which you never sought; indeed, you begged them gone,
And yet, they linger dawn to dusk, and dusk to weary dawn.
But Pilgrim, lift your tired head, and brace your feeble knees;
For lessons learned in schools of pain are not like schools of ease –
What humbled heart and broken bones with faith can start to grow
Is rather like the evergreen made beautiful by snow.
Descended from an ancient breed, she stands on guard with all her friends;
The sun and soil and rain she needs, she gathers as she gently bends
To rhythms only she can hear – the subtle throb of memories
As November days draw near; with every raw and lonesome breeze
She mourns anew in Flanders Fields. Hers the task to mark the place
Where courage bled; the past revealed that hatred has an ugly face;
Here she blooms beneath the sky, and dreams as stars bestow their rays,
That Peace will last for you and I, and Love take root as poppies sway.