PeaceWorks Kansas City

Mobile Menu
Close this search box.

Poppy Poem

AP speaks truth into the mic. AP the Poet has wavy mid length ombre hair, hoop earrings, a colorful tattoo and a loving look out into the crowd. The water of the Loose Park pond is reflecting the trees behind her as AP shares her poem.
Photo by Jim Hannah

By AP The Poet

At the WW1 museum downtown, 
Just past the giant metal doors,
Right under the long glass bridge,
They planted a field of plastic poppies.
The plaque says they plant poppies to represent the people who fought for our freedom

But, I feel like they missed some people
So I plant poppies for protestors
For petitioners, for picket lines, and peace worker
We are a nation that forgets to give our flowers to the ones on the front lines here,
Our park at the plaza was packed with poppy people protesting, 
And Police poisoned the place,
Painting the property in the only poppy colored anything they’ll ever plant for us.
Read a pop-up poppy book to kids at the library,
Get attacked by a pack of prejudice provoked by their politicians
Piece the population with priests and proverbs

The past president’s party bans the poppy history from primary education,
Bans poppy pride parades and poppy athletes with paper thin policies
Patriotic pied-pipers promise prosperity
plaster propaganda on all their programs,

They persecute the poor for their poverty,
But don’t peek into our prisons,
Don’t ask ‘bout the pain and punishment,
Purge people, call ‘em property
Picket the planned parenthood
With their cherry picked bible book,
And pray for the unborn babies
But don’t protect the baby population that starves,
Prioritize the privileged in their penthouses
And praise those who drop bombs from planes on our people
We are so picky about the flowers we plant,
Keep them fake and pretty under glass,
Hidden past the giant metal doors,
Only celebrate those who fought if they weren't on our soil,
But our soil is fertile land for a history of sprouting.

But I dream of a picturesque poppy metropolis. 
See the vines grow from sidewalk cracks and street signs,
Swallow the skyscrapers in scarlet petal posthumous paradise,
Pierce the courthouse, the city hall, the jails and the offices,
The apocalypse is a sweet scented spring
And sunrise is a sowing of seedlings,
Name them KC Tenants, 
Name them Decarcerate KC,
Name them The Sunrise Movement 
Name them The Kansas City Defender
Name them Peace Works KC,
I want to plant poppies for me,
And I want to plant poppies for you,
And one day this city will be so filled with precious poppies,
That doors and glass can’t separate us from that view.

—AP presented this poem at the 2023 Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembrance at Loose Park in KCMO. She is program director for Poetic Underground KC, a cosponsor of the event.

Related Stories

"I plant poppies for protesters / For petitioners, for picket lines, and peace workers," says AP, the Poet, program director for Poetic Underground KC.
It's the evening before Easter  I read my daughter a children's book About Nina Simone  Anna is curious
Defendant Tom Mountenay made this statement in KC MO Municipal Court, noting, “It is in the spirit of love that I will try to live PeaceWorks’ core truth: peace works!”
Five activists opposed the US nuclear weapon build-up on Memorial Day 2021 and come to trial in KC MO on two separate dates. Come for court support!
KC Tenants (KCT) leaders living with rent debt and evictions are meeting with City Manager Brian David Platt to negotiate KCT’s eight demands toward addressing the rental assistance program, evictions, and truly affordable housing.
“We are your neighbors,” writes Tom Fox in a May 30 Kansas City Star column. “We will come face to face with Kansas City police and guards just before noon on Memorial Day,” says Fox of the five who plan to cross the property line at the KC MO nuclear weapons parts plant. The protesters’ one-mile walk begins May 31 at 10:30 a.m. at Prospect Ave. and Mo. Hwy. 150. The group holds a rally at 11:30 a.m. at the entry to the plant, 14510 Botts Rd., near Mo. Hwy. 150.
“What do we want? 15 and a union! When do we want it? Now!” This call echoed across the country, including in Kansas City, Mo. The local group Stand Up KC organized a caravan that corralled a McDonalds where their demands for $15 an hour and a union were presented.
Man hanging origame peace cranes.