Dearest Mother, yes say that John.
She mustn’t twig that things went wrong.
Just say I broke my arm,
and that I didn’t come to any harm.
Tell her how the poppies grow,
and even lilies make a show.
Here, I want you to say, how I miss her.
Then ask her to see Jean, and kiss her.
I’m finding it hard to breathe now John,
and I can’t see; are you there in the dark or have you gone?
Please hold me dear friend.
I’m afraid; I feel it’s close to the end.
Did you tell her how the poppies grow?
John, my world is getting slow.
Don’t let her know about the trench.
The mud, and rats, and all the stench.
Tell her how I miss her, and father too.
The very best parents as we grew.
Mention sister Helen, and young Beth.
Oh God John, I have so little breath.
Take me in your arms John,
Let me feel safe; you were always so strong.
I treasure you my friend and brother.
You have been the best, like no other.
Please tell Mother how the poppies grow.
Hold me John, for now I must go.
And the road ahead is long and lonely.
And I must tread it, me, only.
Me; frightened; not brave, but longing
for children; laughing, singing, thronging.
For mother’s voice, and Jean’s soft hands.
I’ll go along with these new plans.
No wedding now; no children; only schemes.
Tell all at home that they are in my dreams.
And you, must have my dearest of possessions.
Please marry Jean at end of these aggressions.
They tell us that we fight for peace.
If that’s the case, all war must cease.