For The Soldier

a single poppy

For The Soldier

We think we know

what it means to love.

We say it we would do anything

for those we love,

but we don’t know.

Most of us don’t know

what love means.

For the soldier,

love means fighting,

wearing the blood of another,

tasting it, seeking it.

It means walking out

in mud or dust

or forest or desert

and knowing that

you will not come back.

It means dying in dark places,

bravely, heroically,

sometimes badly,

sometimes unseen, unknown to us,

or to anyone

because it has to be done.

It means madness and pain

and duty and courage

and fear and anger.

It means digging

and carrying

and walking

and running

and hurting

and killing

and crying

and dying.

It means love for freedom,

for country,

for family and friends,

for strangers,

for us.

For the soldier,

love means life and death.

What does their love

mean to you?

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