A Ring of Russian Flowers: A Poem

Now that I work almost full-time, I haven’t been writing poetry like I used to. Most of the writing I now do is either work on my novel, or a few words in my daily journal. But over the past few weeks, I’ve felt inspired; and so have made the effort to create some poetry again!

The following poem was inspired by a photograph I saw ages ago, and unfortunately can’t find again despite searching extensively through the internet and all my digital files. It was a photo of an elderly female veteran of the Great Patriotic War; she was dressed in uniform and was highly decorated, and was laying flowers on a timeworn grave. It was the grave of her husband, who had been killed 70 years earlier in the same war that she participated in. Although I failed to save the photo, the loyalty of this woman and the tragedy of her story really stuck in my mind and made the perfect spring of inspiration for my latest poem.


A Ring of Russian Flowers

A ring of Russian flowers

Fed by the bold Rzhev sun

Gazed upon for hours

When the two of us were young.


You gave me such a floral wreath

When we went off to war

It remedied the biting grief

Of all that was in store.


Instead of a pilotka, I had

A ring of flowers in my hair

And even with a gun, you said

I’d never looked so fair.


With a ring of flowers

You asked me for my hand

And no one shared a joy like ours

Though we were in a war-torn land.


Those flowers still bloomed bright

When all else fell away

When thousands died in every fight

They never dimmed to grey.


Onto a floral bed you fell,

With shrapnel through your heart

And mine consumed with the flames of hell

Now that we were apart.


Those flowers still bloom every year

And they smile like you used to

In them I recall your love, my dear

And those days so long ago.


So now it rests with me to bring

A ring of flowers in your name

I lay them on your grave and think

Back to those happy days again.


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