The Lost Poppy Part I

The Lost Poppy Part I
by Rajinder B

In a typical grocery store in the first world
A boy smiles as the veteran fixates a poppy on his vest
and the boy drops a quarter and they exchange smiles
the famous clanging of change is heard to those nearby

“My great grandfather Rodriguez was in the army
but he’s gone away to a better place, I never met him
and I’m going to call this, the Lost Poppy.”
The boy says and the veteran smiles back at him
he’s about to say something but then

“I overheard your great grandfather Rodriguez, haha,
I heard he couldn’t even shoot straight
if a target was right in front of him being a rifleman and all,
what a disgrace, he was in my great grandfather’s squad,
and he was the great sergeant Dolter.”
A young exuberant man belts out

The boy’s mom replies: “You are mean that’s my grandfather.”
“Spare me your defending that coward
instead of Lost Poppy, little boy, call him lost puppy,
jumping all over the field trying to avoid enemy bullets,
hahah, too bad he didn’t catch any fatal ones or do us all a favor
and land on a landmine and blow himself to little bits and pieces.”

The boy starts crying and
his mom starts wiping tears off his face with her thumbs
and the man laughs,
“Crybabies run in the family, haha!”
And walks out proudly with his case of twelve

“It’s okay sweety, there are mean people are everywhere.”
She tells him softly, while the veteran just watches quietly

As they walk outside the boy sees the man and overhears him yelling to his friends
“I met the Rodriguez’s”, they all laugh, “What a loser family!”
a young woman yells in a sharp sarcastic tone
he is now with all his friends comprised of men and women
the young generation in the parking lot supporting that popular view

The mom and son now walk home
the boy holding his mother’s right hand
He asks her, “When will daddy come home?”
She tightens her son’s hand with tear filled eyes
“I don’t know, my love.”

On foreign land during the chill of the rising ghostly morning
with black boots down in the muddy trenches a man looks
to the picture of his wife holding their infant son taken years ago
He brushes his left thumb over the creased, worn, black and white photo
he hears a shot fired in the distance, puts the memory away
and aims his rifle and fires a shot into the from the trenches
the name Rodriguez engraved on the stock of his troy defense rifle
Another generation of war in the trenches carries on

To be continued

Copyright ©2017 Rajinder B. All rights reserved.