Friday, January 13, 2006

One of my earliest poems

Most of my young life was spent in small towns, where Mother and Daddy were the telephone operators.  In Iowa, daddy also worked as a hired hand helping an old codger named Ted Davis milk his cows twice a day.  I loved to go along and see the milking done.  It was a primitive operation: they actually milked the cows out in an open lot, by hand.  I'm not sure how they got them to stand still; maybe they gave them some grain.

We moved to another small town, in Missouri this time.  We were close enough to Grandma and Uncle Leo so that I got a taste of farm life quite often.

When the modern telephone system came to our town and put Mother and Daddy out of work, Daddy became a full-time hired hand outside town; included in the job was a farmhouse we could live in.  Finally we were living on a real farm!  Mother went to work in town at a grocery and dry goods store to help make ends meet, which left me pretty much free to roam the fields and pastures.  I learned where blackberries grew, and found wild strawberries along the road in season.  Daddy was always around somewhere, if I needed him.  But nobody bothered me in my meanderings.  That was one of the best summers of my life.

I didn't have a clue that we were "going under" financially.

So my heart broke when we had to move to Kansas City.  We had to put my old dog, Cookie, down.  She had a huge tumor on her belly that dragged the ground, and there was no place for her in an apartment anyway.  I was allowed to take one of my barn cats when we moved, to console me. 

I'd almost forgotten the desolation in my twelve-year-old heart for our first few months in the city until, going through old photos today, I found this poem Mother had saved.  I wrote it in 1956.  By the way, my penmanship hasn't improved much since then.

While I did not go back to that particularfarm, I realize today how much of my life has been spent making that dream come true.  I've had almost any farm animal you can think of, at one time or another, thanks to the cooperation of my husband.

And when I roam our woods and fields, whether alone or with dogs or grandchildren, I am twelve years old again.

Dreams do come true.


msecz said...

that was a nice story and a beautiful poem... thanks for sharing it with us. Sandra

deslily said...

What a great poem!  You should frame that so everyone can see it...

fmgruber said...

My most memorable and informative years where between the age of 9yr and 14yrs. Most likely they were my most adventurous years for discovery and the beginnings of motoring responsibilities.

madcobug said...

You were a great poem writer back then and still are today. My mother and her siblings used to operate the old telephones and my grandpatents used to have the switchboard. Helen

sugarsweet056 said...

Thanks for sharing...enjoyed it!

tendernoggle said...

Oh my goodness, find this pem surely brought back some wonderful memories to you! I have often wished I had kept a journal when I was young, so I could be able to go back and remember times forgotten.
How sweet of your mama to save this poem you wrote.
By the way, this was an awesome poem for a twelve year old to write! I too loved poetry as a young girl...still do.
love ya,

whitedove3622 said...

What a blessing Mo. Dreams do come true. This poem says so much.

mastersblynn said...

And you are still just as cute!  Loved the poem! Barbara

toonguykc said...

What a gift you gave to yourself by finding that poem!!  So many of the things I drew and wrote from my childhood ended up in the trash.


helmswondermom said...

That is a wonderful poem and picture.  So sorry you had to leave the farm.  Glad you have such good memories of it and that you found this little memory in poem form.

bhbner2him said...

Really good little poem!  It is nice how much of it has come true in your life.  -  Barbara

siennastarr said...

I just think it's wonderful that you have all these things saved from your childhood.  Pictures, poems, books.  

That is such a good poem written from a childs point of view.  I'm glad you live where you are the happiest now..  a farm.. :)


ryanagi said...

I just loved this entry!

creelmd said...

Donna, you choked me up... that is just beautiful.