Ode to New Mexico Poppy

Dear Friends,
My father-in-law passed away eight years ago. To my children he was New Mexico Poppy. I’ve been thinking about him of late and would like to honor him with a simple tribute.

Pops, was quite the character from his stubby finger to the brown cigarette attached to his hand. He never graduated high school, yet he was smarter than most people I knew. He had been one of four boys.

4 boysWhen Pops was five, his dad passed away from an old WWI injury. His mother worked several jobs to support her family. My father-in-law grew up on the streets where he began smoking at the tender age of eight…

The following is an excerpt of something I wrote after Pops passed away. It was read as his ashes were given to the mighty San Juan River running against the enchanted New Mexican sunset…

For New Mexico Poppy

You bested dragons when you were a cocky, crystal-eyed knight
With keen wits and strong hands, you forged your castle
earning a kingdom long ago, during harsher times

military popAs King,
you lived hard,
you lived well

pop and karoleYour voice boomed like a mighty King’s should
A fair ruler,
you spoke more truths in one day than most spoke in a lifetime

pop and famYour stubby finger, sliced short years ago
rapped the oak table to emphasize a point
The round table that became your court

round tableAnd, when you decided it was time for your rule to end
no one questioned the decision, but then again
you were King…

popsThank you and goodnight. May you dream of blue-eyed sailors…

Miss you, Pops…

(can’t trace the photo image credits, pencil drawing done yesterday)


6 thoughts on “Ode to New Mexico Poppy

    • New Mexico Nana is still with us – she’s visiting now. She remains beautiful inside and out. Her visit puts my father-in-law/Pops front row center.
      New Mexico Poppy was a lot of fun – many great memories 🙂
      AnnMarie 🙂


  1. A beautiful tribute to your father-in-law, AnnMarie. I envy your closeness and admiration for your in-law. He would be, I’m sure, very touched by your poetic words.


    • Thank you, kind Debra. I’m one of those fortunate married persons who never had to sing about the woes of having horrid in-laws. Pops was a lot of fun and a good man. His wife, still with us is a terriifc lady and a fellow artist too. I got very lucky!
      AnnMarie 🙂


    • Yes, Pops was one-of-a-kind, rough edges but a heart of gold. He lived and went out on his terms and we miss him. My mother-in-law is still with us. I did an earlier post about her – she is 6 feet tall and modeled when she was younger. There were both striking. 🙂
      I’m sorry you no longer have your in-laws in your life…I’m sure they were special people 🙂


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