Truth from Farley’s Eyes

 “They’re starting – Quick!” I said to him

“It’s the trooping of the Queens’ Guards

Take my hand, and we’ll find a place

in the front where you can see.”

I led him to the palace yard 

clasping palms we chased the parade

hearts beating along to drums,

to soldiers’ feet, and horses hooves

and triumphant marching songs

My grandson and I stood and watched

row upon row of belted tunics, 

scarlet red of Britain’s blood

gold buttons flashed by noon-day sun

black trousers and shoes in scissor-leg moves 

snipping in time, wooden, all as one

Left right, snip snap

Bayonets fixed on sky-aimed rifles

Canadian bearskin-heightened heads

glistening fur bounced and swung

while people jostled, tradition bound

Left right, swish swoosh

“How many?” he asked above the din

“What?” I said, too thrilled to hear

He pointed at the black fur dancing

noble and thick upon their heads

Left right, snip snap

“Grannie” his query pierced the music

Left right, the soldiers passed

I cheered with the crowd but Farley cried

“For the soldiers hats,” he demanded the truth

“How many bears have died?”


Submitted to:

  Imperfect Prose Thursdays



Filed under Poetry, Uncategorized

51 responses to “Truth from Farley’s Eyes

  1. Oh my – caught me off guard for this ending … very nicely done!

    Out of the mouth of babes!! 🙂

  2. Yes indeed, didn’t see that coming. Excellent.

  3. What an insightful, caring child. You didn’t say how old he is.

    • Farley is six. He lives in England, and I rarely get to see him, so our relationship is mostly by phone and webcam. The situation in the poem is made up, but the question – his question – is real. Farley has been aware since the day he was born, I think. (His name is old English and means the meadow where animals graze) When he was four, his mother went out saying she was going to get a chicken for their dinner, and he responded, “Mummy, I think the chicken wants to live.”
      What does a mother say to that? 🙂

  4. incredible…

    smiles…………….share with poets rally if you wish, happy mother’s day,

    keep rocking..

  5. A fine, clever twist! Happy Mother’s Day.

  6. best …

    you rock..
    have fun!

  7. Magda

    That is incredible, what an insightful old soul that little boy is!

  8. Julie Taylor

    Thats my little cousin:) so proud of his animal love!

  9. love this!! brilliant ending, friend! you’re a true writer…

    • Thank you Emily – I love your post on the children – adoption hunger – such beautiful words, love bigger than the moon and compassion. Brokenpenwriter followers, I encourage you to drop in to – you will be blessed for the moments you spend there

  10. oh my…often kids ask the questions we forget to ask..having three kids myself, i could fill pages and pages with their questions that made me re-think life..

    • Please do, and share them with us!! Their words – like pearls – shine, make us stop in wonder at the simple wisdom of uncomplicated minds, often causing us delightful laughter

  11. Barbara Rodgers

    I felt caught up in the excitement, and then felt my conscience pricked by a little voice asking a simple little question – beautiful writing!

  12. wow, the way that kids can cut through the pomp and circumstance and see the simple, necessary truths. And I love the way that you wrote this to do the same. I was all caught up in the excitement and glamour of the troops movements when the poingnant truth caught me off guard.

  13. sigh…that should read “poignant”

  14. Pingback: Perfect Poet Award – Week 43 | "On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

  15. When you get an opportunity – drop by for a well deserved surprise:


  16. The ending made me laugh out loud 🙂 This is great.

  17. Happy to find your point of view at the “Rally”. A fun piece.

  18. My first time here. What an epic poem here. So lovely I dropped by.

    • Welcome, Salem and thank you. Please come again. I visited your site and was blown away by the vivid images and stories in your poetry. I love that you fight wars with words and not stones. Beautiful.

  19. What a question for him to ask – and so poignant and wise. Out of the mouth of babes huh? Love your poem – I felt like I was standing there in the crowd with you xx

  20. awww! how cute! He has a heart of gold. He sees beyond the obvious. I hope he never loses that quality 🙂
    Thanks for sharing that wonderful story with us and thanks for the visit, happy potluck! 🙂

  21. Lovely ! Kids see things which are blurred and hazy for adults, lovely poem–the ending was er..well…. eye opening . . Being a parent, I too get to see the world from an innocent , truthful and wholly unexpected viewpoint sometimes.

  22. How perfect! Observant kid there, good curiosity. Surprise ending, and it was great.

  23. Oh my! What a moment, and so beautifully expressed!

    • Thank you Paula. I see from your lovely blog that we have several things in common: writing, roses, grandchildren and golden retrievers to mention a few. Glad you dropped in – Thanks!

  24. Tanalising! I totally loved the ending. A different perspective indeed from a different individual. Loved the movement and graphics illustration as well.
    First time I have fell in love with a dialogue based prose, keep it up! 🙂

    • Thanks, Clarise. Although I don’t usually use dialog in my prose/poetry, I find it creeps in when I write about my daughter and grandchildren. Their voices, separated from me by ocean and continents of miles, appear in my writing like birdsong, clear and vibrant, short little lines that tickle my heart and make me smile. If you want to see what I’m talking about, feel free to read the two poems posted last summer, titled, “Mushrooming Miles’ and ‘White Moon Rising.’

  25. Kids can see through all our hypocricy so well, isn’t it? The poem was otherwise too flowing so well. One could picture the grandeur of the occasion and the patriotic pride such pagaents are supposed to instill in our hearts. And then comes that deflating prick. Wow!! is all I can say. I hope he never loses this essence. Ever.

    • As always, Nadira, your comments reveal that you read on as deep a level as you write. But this is not surprising for one who lives in the moment and integrates without fear the images, actions, and emotions that surround her – but accepts them all as lessons or as just another part of the whole. I am always honored when someone with such devotion and respect for life drops in to brokenpenwriter’s playground to stay awhile. Thank you, my friend for your visit.

  26. Children just know how to say things simply. A well written piece, and it’s nice to know there’s hope for our future.

  27. So precious. Wonderful descriptions it reminds of my trip to England. One of the guard’s horses ran over to me and started rubbing his head on my back

  28. You had me smiling along with you, and then that last line…whew! Stirring excitement, stilled to truth by innocent eyes. Then, both generations suddenly know more of each other, and only one feels the guilt of it. Sometimes it takes children to open our eyes. But then, we can only hope the plumage is not synthetic. *smile*
    I read your comment about this being fiction, based on truth of character. I’m happy you didn’t have to see this pain in his eyes. What a delightful grandchild he must be!
    Really good post.

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