Yet another old memory…

Her perfume lingered in my nostrils
It reminded me of days long since gone
Of Mother making us treacle tart
And the way the sun always shone.

It didn’t of course, it was just childhood
And we like to think back to the good
Things like the sun always shining
And Mother’s delicious pud.

People then, had no central heating
In winter with fires, the house was cold still
And the water we took up to bed would freeze
Through the night on the windowsill.

Mother’s love was of course, unconditional
As was Dad’s till the day he died
And Mum dabbed on ‘Lily of the Valley’
As she stood by his coffin and cried.

So now, when a lady walks past me
Who is wearing that scent from those years
She’ll probably be a lady of advancing age
Who’s experienced those times and some tears.

And I will drift back to my childhood
But I’ll push out the parts that are bad
As I think of the fun and the love that I felt
I’ve no desire to look back and be sad.

©Joe Wilson – Yet another old memory…2015

When Mum darned our socks…

Thinking back yet again to my childhood
And the shoelace I couldn’t quite fasten
To the many ways Mum used to help me
With those little skills parents pass on.
Six children to love and she really did
She would though, she was our Mum
As well as soothing our often cut knees
She cooked all the food for our tum.
She’d darn our socks and wash our clothes
And iron things we don’t iron now
Then all of it would just disappear into drawers
As if done by magic somehow.
But Mum didn’t have it anyway easy
Dad died at just fifty-two
And Mum struggled on and raised us alone
But at night-time she cried, we all knew.
As the new day began there would be not a sign
Of the heartache her nights brought to her
She got on with the task of raising her brood
To her feelings she’d rarely refer.
Dad had grown vegetables to feed us
He grew dahlias for my mother, his love
They’ve both been long gone now from this place
Now they stroll hand in hand up above.

©Joe Wilson – When Mum darned our socks…2015

Riding a bike with my dad…

I’m thinking now of my childhood
Of Dinky toys and a bright shiny trike
I travelled for miles going nowhere
On that beautiful three-wheeled bike.
It even had a boot on the back
Like a bread bin between the wheels
That I used to fill with books and toys
Only opened to best friend’s appeals.
The bike was bright red and I loved it
I raced round on it every day
Until that time when I was just too big
And the bike was taken away.
I missed that old red tricycle
It had been my companion for a while
But the two-wheeled cycle that Dad got
Soon turned my lips up in a smile.
It was a second-hand bike and quite grown-up
Hand-painted the darkest maroon
And I rode it for miles, this time with my dad
But it’s fun-giving days went too soon.
My next bike was blue, and a racer
Derailleur gears numbered ten
I wanted to ride out again with my dad
But he’d cycled his last before then.
My dad rode a bike for the whole of his life
Yet he never reached fifty-three
When I’m on a bike now, cycling along
I think of him riding with me.

©Joe Wilson – Riding a bike with my dad…2015

My beloved parents…

His now withered hand hardly moved
and yet I still knew what he meant
but it hurt me so to see my Dad
once a man so powerfully strong
be brought down by a bad heart
and by arthritis and so cruelly bent.

His last eleven years were all in pain
it was plain for all to see
he worked all through the second vile war
sometimes in long eighteen-hour shifts
but he died at only fifty-two
in front of my siblings and me.

I will never know how my dear Mum coped
there were six of us to raise
and though she struggled, oh how she struggled
she fed and clothed us by means
It was only much later as an adult
that I understood and looked back in praise.

©Joe Wilson – My beloved parents…2014

The Big Red Wooden Train

wooden_toy_train

A big wooden train Dad made and painted red
Or a tricycle I sometimes preferred instead
Sometimes a Jeep or a truck or a plane
Those Dinky cars I played with again and again.

Cowboys and Indians that we played near the shed
At the end of the garden till it was past time for bed
Where I’d read Secret Seven books or Famous Five stuff
Till Mum put the light out and I’d feign a big huff.

It was a leisurely time full of fun with no fear
We enjoyed our school days and held them so dear
But it all fell to pieces on one Saturday past noon
When my beloved father died at years far too soon.

My childhood till then had been fun like a game
But from that moment on it was never the same
Though the standing by his grave in the cold pouring rain
Isn’t the memory I recall, it’s Dad’s home-made red train.

©Joe Wilson – The Big Red Wooden Train 2014