Saturday, 14 March 2015

Poem - We forgot to Dance: An Old Woman's Lament

I was twenty when we met
And you were three years more.
We got married among our friends
On September twenty-four.
From that point forward our motto was
To work hard and receive
The benefits that came from work – 
To endeavour and achieve. 

You worked from dawn to dusk, and I
Keeping house, of course, saw
To the balance and the checks
That come in through our door.
You were exhausted when you got home
Each night was later still
We ne’er complained but worked to earn
The cash to pay each bill.

The balance rose and o’er the years
Five babies were our joy
We welcomed our four giggling girls
And one squirming baby boy.
Soon they were of age to help around
The house and in the store.
You trained our girls to mind the books
And our son to sweep the floor.

Day in day out, we did our bit
And fell in bed at night.
There were some times you would be so tired
You would scarce take one small bite.
As the girls got older they would beg
You to take them to the dance.
We had no time for that there or at home
We forgot our own romance.

I stand here now – a woman old
It’s been thirty years since you went
And every day I come to your grave 
With my soul all in torment
What was our mistake, my darling?
What did we do wrong?  
Our children all live happy lives
And now I scarce belong.

Maybe in securing goods to
Keep them safe and sound,
We missed the things that really matter
In between the cents and pounds.
It would not have hurt to give a little 
To, in life, take a chance…
I’m off to tell the children now – 
It’s important to work hard now-
And to give it all you’ve got now – 
But don’t forget to dance.

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