The oriental poppies in the neighborhood beckon to me from blocks away. I know each garden where they reside. I simply cannot get enough of them. Little ladies in crinkled silk, shy and waving, with those intense black velvet centers. When I visited Flanders, I saw fields of flanders poppies, small, folded, red. They were stunning, like a flock of blood-red butterflies, bright as cherries. Frivolous, somehow, compared to these stately oriental poppies, each one full-blown like a battleship, swaying on the currents of the breeze, elusive as a great red migratory bird, soon to have passed on.