The Poetry Pub’s Day 13, prompt was “eye contact.” Here’s my response to the prompt, and it is offered in light of the fact that November is Diabetes Awareness Month.
The poem is a recollection of the day my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the pancreas and leaves the individual insulin dependent. For many years it was called Juvenile Diabetes because the disease most often manifest in children.
Our daughter was seven when she was diagnosed. Here’s a picture of her in the ER awaiting admission to the hospital. It was December 7.
Here is a poem based on day five’s November Poem a Day Challenge poetry prompt from The Poetry Pub. The prompt is “telephone.”
Incidentally, November marks the 54 anniversary of Glen Campbell’s release of “Wichita Lineman.” I love what songwriter Jimmy Webb said of his song, “…you can see someone working in construction or working in a field, a migrant worker or a truck driver, and you may think you know what’s going on inside him, but you don’t. You can’t assume that just because someone’s in a menial job that they don’t have dreams…or extraordinary concepts going around in their head, like ‘I need you more than want you; and I want you for all time.’ You can’t assume that a man isn’t a poet.”
Red for poppies which in fields bloom
Midst the death and blood of bodies strewn;
Brown for the dirt, the trenches which flood
And fill with muck and mud and blood;
Black descends on me in death
Light fades, night falls with fleeting breath.
The earth exhales a gasping breath
As red from wounds like flowers bloom
In Flanders where life bleeds to death;
Men as seeds broadcast and strewn
Who dying cry for Mum and blood—
A swelling call as tide to flood.
The autumn rain fills fields to flood
The trenches with muck, choke the breath,
Of living land now browned with blood—
Once waved with wheat, flowered in bloom,
Now torn and ripped with metal strewn—
A splintered world of rusting death.
Assigned, resigned to our own death
O’er the top pour, a fodder in flood
‘Cross no man's land with craters strewn,
Shells scream, feet pound with desperate breath,
A hope forlorn in national bloom
Necessity’s gift: life and blood.
This band of brothers bound in blood,
Blacked by powder, smeared with death,
Shelter 'neath shells which burst and bloom,
The crack and fire, the roaring flood,
Explosion's smell, sulfuric breath,
Hope littered, wasted, cast off, strewn.
In whitened rows no longer strewn
Red sprinkles the field as blood
Which waves and swells blown by breath;
In Ypres’, now green, valley of death
No brown-clad men gather in flood
To Flanders’ fields where tombstones bloom.
One day the fields shall wind Life’s Breath,
Men as poppies rise tall in bloom,
When Rev’lle sounds the death of death.
Randall Edwards 2022
photo: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons