Poetry

If I Go First

If I Go First
(A Living Will)

Where falls the petal of a poppy
bleaching its once-bright red
lay down to fade in fallow
this freshly emptied head.

Don’t let my ash grey any flower
draw circles, as with dry sand,
and as you pour the finest of me
love will steady your hand.

The poppy is no bleeding heart
though it gets pinned to lapels
survivor of plough and herbicide
against straight rows it rebels.

Unlike the lilac, the amapola
lacks perfume, wilts in a vase
but splashes its blood across a field
with abandon, as night does stars.

So, typically, I am asking a lot
while leaving you here alone:
Wait for late summer, poppy, petal
no Church, no grave, no stone.

I see you now in morning sun
on our narrow rutted track
laughing at those wild red faces
blowing kisses, getting them back!

Rod Usher

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