Fifteen million poppies leave the field,
Mowed down by the tractor,
It skins the ground, it crushes, pounds,
So the sun baked soil fractures.
Like if the field’s worst storm,
Joined viral plague,
Coalesced with parching summers,
To strike down its poppies, scar the land,
Irreparable by plumber.
Those spat out beneath the wheels,
With stalks snapped near in two,
Barely held by ruddy fibres,
So thin you could see through.
Gathered gingerly in wheel barrows,
Stacked high with shredded poppies,
On a bed of ironed leaves,
Twenty-five million broken copies.
The soil where they sprouted,
Malnourished, kneaded flat,
Still held the wrenched and tortured roots,
On which their stems had sat.
Trauma etched in to the ground,
Craters deep and jagged,
While petal fragments fall above,
Mauled to ribbons ragged.
Before the land was curdled, churned,
Spat back out as sludge,
It lay distinct and separate,
Caramel and fudge.
But the mixing wheels and turning tracks,
Don’t care of such divides,
They regurgitate and agitate,
The living on both sides.
By Dhylan Patel (12QUI)