Playing Naked in the Poppy Field



I say goodbye to a doll

who wears a cotton dress

and a pine-green coat

her hair cut in one spot down to the roots,

my 8-year-old attempt at being a hairdresser.


I also wave farewell to a teddy bear

who I used hold in the night.

He once played music

but for some fifty years has been silent.


I see them disappearing into the distance

hand-in-hand like Pooh and Christopher Robin.


For years these toys have lived

the way memories do

shut inside a cabinet,

their presence unquestioned.


But one day I looked inside and saw

their journey was no longer with me.


I am not that girl

youngest of three

not the littlest one

the temper tantrum kid

the good girl

the mediator.


I’m also not the woman

without a child

but with a dog

the daughter

the sister





All of these, and their memories

accompany the doll and bear

as they disappear down a country road

to embellish others’ lives.


This moment

I play naked

in the luminous poppy field

with my Beloved.


No memory but now

no identity but love.



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13 Responses to “Playing Naked in the Poppy Field”

  1. teddy April 6, 2017 at 7:09 am #

    OH Lesley,

    Such beauty, the tears rolled…
    Letting go …stepping into the now
    the next step …reaching for His Hand…

    thank you, much love.

  2. Rebecca Sparks April 6, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    So beautiful I cried. Thank you Leslie, you have Thee Voice!❤❤❤

  3. Patricia April 6, 2017 at 7:36 am #

    Lesley…thank you for this lovely poem…so gentle…so powerful…so right on for me right now…
    I just spent two weeks with my two sisters…we are all in our sixties…we all showed up as adult women this time…so amazing!
    Thank you again, so beautiful and timely…for me…

  4. tony marsh April 6, 2017 at 7:37 am #

    Lesley……….that was an elegant assembly of words and thoughts…..tony

  5. Bob Kuyper April 6, 2017 at 8:05 am #

    Beautiful! I read it with a warm feeling inside and a smile on my face. Thank you.

  6. Bob Mayer April 6, 2017 at 11:37 am #


    Beautiful poem. It evokes so many memories.

    Just happens I am half way through a novel about memory. And a key symbolic image is a Poppy Field.

    I would love when I am finished — a few months at least — for you to be one of my First Readers.

    Would you care to meet for tea some afternoon and catch up? –bob

  7. Sheila Burns April 6, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    lovely contemplation satsang as I move further away from my identity and title of my previous employement, into the field of unemployment, dropping words like “we” and “our” to identify more with my true self.

    • Lesley April 6, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

      Thank you all for your lovely comments. It is such an interesting process to let go of the old to usher in the new, so many doubts and second thoughts come into play. With these toys I wasn’t certain at all until they were gone from my house and then I knew the perfection. Such seems to be the case with the tougher partings, those old identities that I cling to, but the reward for letting them go is especially great.

  8. Chloe Kyle April 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    This is beautiful Lesley, thank you. I love the image of the toys shut in a cabinet like memories, their presence unquestioned. That really resonates with me. Time for a spring clean, so freeing.

  9. Helen Visarraga April 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    I so love the powerful image of fading away into love. Thank you dear soul.

  10. Monica Zmuda April 7, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    You so easily capture my imagination and take me with you. This is sweet, nostalgic down to simple truth n the moment. Love this, Lesley. ?

  11. Rudy April 10, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    Always so courageous in your sharing, Lesley. Your shut-away memories reminded me of a box in the attic with high school trophies and an athletic letter littered with brass pin images of basketballs, music notes, and other symbolic footprints that showed my tiny world that I wasn’t a nobody. Funny how the box’s presence annoys me, but I still don’t initiate its demise. I will echo Chloe’s comment that it’s probably time for some serious spring cleaning. I simply loved your poem. LOVED it! Thank you for sharing it.

    • Lesley June 27, 2017 at 7:50 am #

      Rudy, thank you for this lovely share. As I prepare my next book, I came across it. I wonder if you have visited that box. We do have so many reminders of what made us feel important in this often lonely world. Shedding them becomes a true blessing. Now you’ve inspired me to do more spring cleaning. 🙂

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