Dressing for town

An exciting morning – shopping
in town spending pocket money
in between Mum’s errands.

Svelte chic for the eight year
old with close fitting jeans
geometric zigzagged cardigan
buttoned to the neck, hair
neatly tied back, iridescent
pink flats with tiny bows.

Femininity for the six year old
pink shirt pink starred leggings
under smart denim skirt complete
with heart covered sneakers.
Last of all a necklace teamed
with sparkly dangly hair ties.

Mum quickly dons smart jeans
shirt, flats, applies makeup
combs hair, puts on ear rings.

Little brother wears striped
leggings, cowboy sweat shirt,
cute little sneakers, his first ever.

His special comb goes
over his tight curly thatch.
Oh no ! Loud screams !
How could she !
She’s combing his hair !

Three smartly dressed ladies
drive off to town with tidy
tear stained little brother
buckled firmly in his seat.

Previously posted November 2017.

Dressing for town

Partners

Grizzling sounds came from
little brother’s bedroom as
Mum and Aunty met in the hall
but Mum said he could wait
a few minutes while they finished
in the kitchen and bathroom.

The eight year old stared as
they went their different
directions while little brother
still grizzled and whined.

Five minutes later Mum and
Aunty were joined in the
kitchen by the small slight
eight year old lugging sturdy
little brother, both beaming.

They are very close friends.
She had lowered the side of
his cot. He leaned over it, she
helped him roll over it, slide
down to the floor, where
she unzipped his sleep sack.

He stood up she hugged
him from behind and
staggered with him
into the kitchen –
partners in their endeavour.


Previously posted November 2017.

Partners

The Gate

As he played in the living room
the back door clicked, rattled.
Running out through the dining
room little brother stopped short.
A closed gate into the kitchen
barred his way to greet them.

Ooooh ! He sees Mum coming
through the back porch into
the kitchen followed by Dad
both laden with shopping.
Nana behind him says the gate
stays shut as they unload.

The black and white cat strolls
up to the gate, leaps agilely
on to its post, drops lightly
down to the kitchen floor.

Little brother stares wistfully
enviously at his swift lithe
movement, wishing he too
could leap so easily.

He already runs fast in his
unsteady new gait, but with
no thought of distance or safety.

The gate will stay awhile.


Previously posted November 2017.

The Gate

A Brother Buried

Cousin George always bullied
younger brother, cousin Alfred
yet remained their autocratic
father’s favourite son.

Young George worked for
government in Samoa
before WW II, a promising
young professional fellow.

Years later after Alfred’s sudden
death his descendants explored
their family history. George
was not found in the foreign
service or public records.

Alfred said George died in
1940 but at last they found
his death notice for 1947.

Now they seek his
place of burial
of residence and work,
means of support.
Had he a wife ?
children ?

For alfred only told an
erroneous date of death.
He truly buried his brother.


Previously posted November 2017.

A Brother Buried

Medal For Bravery

Great uncle Richard’s military
record in bright photocopy with
colourful signatures, official
stamps from the Defence Ministry
reached our cousins.

Born in 1890 he joined our
expeditionary force to take
Samoa from Germany in 1914.
He fought 1915 – 1918 in Europe
surviving the trenches with a
military cross for bravery
at Passchendaele in 1917.

After 22 years as a civilian
here he returned to England to
train his young countrymen to
fight in Europe and Africa.

My own generation read this
in great surprise in 2014.
He was divorced in 1937
in his far city home, left n
no descendants to keep
his memories alive.

His family in his home city
rejected him for his divorce,
never mentioned his war
service or military cross.


Previously posted November 2017
.

Medal For Bravery

No One And Nothing

The mother of the war veteran’s
home once called a matron,
now a CEO, oversaw the
filling of the large store room’s
cubby holes with articles of
men’s clothing, with satisfaction.

Touring the home with future
residents and families, she
showed them her store room
requesting whatever they
were able to supply.

For some who fought in
world War II, Korea, Vietnam,
bore a heavy load of war’s
ravages, wounds, and stresses,
could not bear the additional
load of human contact.

In time they would reach the
shores of the veterans’ home,
washed up, washed out,
with no one and nothing.


Previously posted November 2017.

No One And Nothing

Linguistics


Our long lost English cousins
travelled their new found native
land as I returned to work.

Occasional phone calls told me
of their whereabouts, with some
linguistic adjustment needed
to facilitate communication.

“We’re … ” “… …” “We’re at …”
… deep bass background chuckles
“We’re at …” … “Omapere,”
finished a voice in the background.

Now we could complete
our intended conversation.

I used to find it difficult to
pronounce strangely spelt
English place names on
my visits to England too.


Previously posted November 2017.


Linguistics

A Foreign Land

The English cousins returned
after forty two years away
on flights droning on through
long night and longer day.

So different from their weeks
on board ship at a very young
age returning to their mother’s
distant home land. Now our
climate and latitudinal changes
caught them by surprise.

Their second evening coming
out of the supermarket they
were puzzled at the swift
darkness replacing bright
sunset. As they stared a
downpour drenched them,
not gentle English rain.

“You told us to bring our shorts !”
came a wail from soaking darkness.


Previously posted November 2017.

A Foreign Land

Family Tree Roots

Going to the kitchen one Sunday
morning I passed the TV rolling
forth Orkney Island panoramas
near my ancestral home in the
uppermost corner of Scotland.
I got the urge to visit for
family history research.

As bidden by my aunt, the
family matriarch I wrote to
her niece, my cousin, as well
as her brother, my uncle, though
my aunt and father were glad
this uncle lived 12,000 miles
away. They could not stand him.

I duly wrote letters, went to
John O’Groats, Orkney Islands,
drove south to the uncle and his
wife. Luckily they were civil.

Now a big surprise came from
the cousin who was ecstatic to
meet antipodean family from
her birthplace. She, her brother,
and sisters craved contact with
distant family, were desperate
to know their family roots
denied them for forty two years
by the older generation’s feud.

So the younger generation
reconnected our family links.


Previously posted October 2017.

Family Tree Roots

Sprawling Monster

As children we drove to visit
family in our little city and
nearby scattered villages.
Crossing farmland we visited
great aunts at the forest’s edge
near our city’s southern harbour.
We crossed the northern harbour
by car ferry visiting friends
on farms, family at beaches
further north, camping in tents
and caravans by the shore.

Until the juggernaut of change
bridged the long inlet of our
northern harbour sending out
broad arterial routes northwards,
subdivisions swallowing farmland
beach cottages, camping grounds.
A new bridge over our southern
harbour’s inlets sent arterial
routes southwards as mushrooming
subdivisions and town centres
swallowed farmland, villages.

Vast throngs flocked from round
the country, from overseas, to
fill apartments blocks, subdivisions.
Businesses, office blocks, shopping
malls, apartments, condos soar
skywards as in endless canyons.
Vehicles belching smoking fumes
clog up the widening roads.

Our little city is now buried
under this sprawling monster.


Previously posted October 2017.

Sprawling Monster