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The Remembrance Day Service

She pinned a single poppy

blood red

just above her heart — on the navy blazer she would wear

to the Remembrance Day Celebration

“Please stand,” intoned the chaplain

a bugle sounded — all turned

to face the back as

one by one they stepped in unison to the front

a second bugle sound — a third

explosive silence

“Please be seated.”

He took his place at the podium

crippled, old

two sons in their uniforms stepped slowly beside him

the walk seemed long to his battle-scarred soul

tears inched their way down leathery cheeks.

With faltering voice, he beseeched all present

to live in peace and harmony for the rest of their days.

She rose from her seat

hoping she wouldn’t cry

removed the symbolic red poppy then

placed it in his hand

kissed his weathered cheek and whispered,

“God bless you, Dad. I wore this for you.”

— Eva Krawchuk, Winnipeg

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