The Somme

The inquisitive mind of a child,

-Why are they selling poppies, Mummy?

Selling poppies in town today?

-The poppies, child, are flowers of love

For the men who marched away.

-But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?

Why not a beautiful rose?

-Because, my child, men fought and died

In the fields where the poppies grow.

-But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?

Why are the poppies so red?

-Red is the colour of blood, my child,

The blood that our soldiers shed.

-The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.

Why does it have to be black?

-Black, my child, is the symbol of grief

For the men who never came back.

-But why, Mummy, are you crying so?

Your tears are giving you pain.

-My tears are my fears for you, my child,

For the world is forgetting again.

Above is an Irish version of a poem written on a piece of embroidery in the exhibition ‘The Somme’, which is on just now in St. Columb’s Cathedral. Like other exhibitions in the Cathedral, this exhibition is simple and impressive. It is well worth a visit.

The exhibition shows the horror of war in a dramatic fashion. It adds greatly to our knowledge and understanding. People from both communities here died in the conflict. There is a lesson in this project for every person in the country.