(On Viewing Ceramic Poppies to Commemorate World War I, for sale, at the Tower of London)
Hard flowers try to bloom and grow
(but cannot tell what soft ones know
of how to live and how to die)
plugged in a tower’s moat gone dry,
a pretentious, gaudy memento.
The tourists come, the tourists go
to see the pottery poppy show.
What causes them to want to buy
Because they’re cooked-up in a studio?
And virtuous? (The quid pro quo
will go to charity).But who can justify,
however sentimental, hope to pacify
a bloody horrible hard woe
with hard flowers?