Drowning in a sea of poppies

Hard-working, totally committed to the task

Flexible, working for clients, he put in extra hours

Until people distant from the frontline turned their backs

And, ignoring families’ plight, used their powers

He phoned home. His wife lost all hope.

But they limped on, wounded. Not the same; all sad

Confused with it all; deaf even to the messages

From online, real and new friends that got behind

Help! Help! Why us? – A muddle of feelings

Getting organised with job search hoping in time ..

But the family are still calling out and stumbling,

And wondering why the others did this crime

Heartbreak, as birthdays come and hardship bites

As under a sea of poppies, you see us drowning

In all my days, before my helpless sight,

The children look at me, not understanding what went wrong

If in some other reality you too could face

The tears the man and child do cry

And feel how the man feels he has let us down

His morose face, who can’t quite believe what they have done to us

If you could see the travel and effort across the UK

The money spent, the hopes dashed

The obstructions placed, in a way that is not OK

The lack of checking in

My friend, you would not tell with such belief

Based on years of being misled

The old Lie; the Royal British Legion cares for our service people and their families.

Not this one, they don’t.

My favourite poem is Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est”.

It tells the truth about war and its horrors. It calls on people not buy into the “Old Lie”.

Little did I know that one day I would write a poem using that one as my foundation on the Old Lie that the Royal British Legion care about all service and former service people and their families.

We remain very hurt, bitter and let down.

We will not be defeated.


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