I Remember When …

June 22, 2015 at 12:30 am | Posted in Family, Gratitude, Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Memoir | 10 Comments
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I remember when…

 

The lake shore, the farms and the local streets

were all places where children could safely roam;

and we played pirates, and cowboys and Indians

and wandered ‘til dark in the bush near our home.

 

I remember…

 

The milk and bread being delivered to our door

on a cart with a horse that knew when to stop;

when it was exciting to travel on a steam train

and a penny bought four lollies at the local shop.

 

And I remember…

 

Walking three miles to church on a Sunday

with my family and wearing my best frock;

and the joy of reading a library book

or of being allowed to stay up until eight o’clock.

 

Aah, the memory of…

 

Our excitement when Christmas morning arrived

and we couldn’t wait to see what Santa had brought;

when the family came together to share a meal

and we sang the old songs that we’d all been taught.

 

Do I want to remember…

 

Going outside down the path, in sunshine or rain,

to the backyard dunny with its newspaper and pan,

in daylight or dark, with the smell all around,

hoping they’d not come while you’re sitting to pick up the can?

 

I also remember…

 

The long hard hours Dad worked to get enough

for the basics of life and a deposit on some land;

And Mum, never knowing if ends would meet

or if there’d be enough money to go around.

 

And the polio that changed our whole way of life

when it struck down my brother and sister – and Dad;

How Mum coped with all the worry and stress;

Her fears we’d never keep even the little we had.

 

But the things I remember best are these…

 

the love that our family had for each other

and the strength this gave us in bad times and good;

the joy we took in life’s simple things;

the hard work that was something we all understood;

the respect that we knew was earned and not bought;

and the strong moral lessons that our parents had taught.

 

Maybe rose-coloured glasses have changed my perspective,

but I believe that our past is always subjective.

What we do with our memories shows who we’ve become –

so let’s use them to help us in times that will come.

 

 

(c) Linda Visman

This poem was first published in “I Remember When” an anthology compiled and edited by Julie Athanasiou, Legacy Books, November 2006.

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10 Comments »

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  1. Beautiful post Linda. Reminds me so much of my life. I love, “a cart with a horse that knew when to stop.” I knew a horse like that and he also pulled a milkcart.

    • Thanks Don. 🙂
      Things are so different today for kids – some for the better; but they miss out on a lot of *real* stuff.

  2. Aaah! Memories! You’ve got me thinking of my own childhood and the lives of my parents and grandparents. I plan to write about all the strong women in my family (the husbands all disappeared early from the scene) and make photo books for my grandchildren. Where to start!

    • I would love to see you writing about your family women, Linda. There will be lots of stories about the difficulties they faced, how they managed them, & how they found the positives that gave them the strength you mention. Go for it!

  3. I would love to see you writing about your family women, Linda. There will be lots of stories about the difficulties they faced, how they managed them, & how they found the positives that gave them the strength you mention. Go for it!

  4. i also remember when I couldn’t wait for Santa’s visit 🙂

  5. Ah, the memories! Lovely poem, Linda!

  6. A beautiful poem on gratitude, Linda. Wonderfully composed. I could feel myself agreeing, and imaging my own memories of yesteryear.

  7. Lovely poem on the poignancy of family.


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