This little poppy is an unexpected volunteer in my flowerbed. Something kept me from pulling up the unfamiliar green plant and I was rewarded one morning with this single fragile bloom.
My wildflower book tells me it's an introduced annual, rare except around Wilmington, all the way across the state. I remember having seen one growing wild on the roadside only once. So this felt like a tiny miracle.
And a short-lived one too -- by mid-afternoon it was fading and shedding its petals.
And I realized how appropriate the poppy is as a symbol for Memorial Day -- a day created to honor those who died in military service for the USA.
As I looked at the bare stem that had been so beautiful only half a day earlier, I was reminded of a poignant quote from one of my recent students who is writing about a Marine officer's experiences in Viet Nam: "An eighteen year old Marine wants more than anything to become a nineteen year old Marine."
All those young lives lost. Sent to wars started by old men. And, at least since World War II, wars without a compelling rationale. Wars to control other countries and the politics and assets thereof. Wars based on fear . . . or lies. . . or profit.
Meanwhile, President Bonespurs, whose own personal Vietnam was spent in NYC avoiding STDs, (full quote and video HERE) is sending another 1500 troops to the Middle East . . .
When will it ever end?