Sunday, May 17, 2009





My son has left for America;
All night I have lain weeping.
Tossing and turning through the night
Without a thought of sleeping.
To think I'll no more see his face,
His voice I'll no more hear;
To think I'll never watch the door
And know that he'll appear!
The months will pass; there'll be no word.
I'll pray he has survived!
For weeks I'll wait to get the news
That at least he has arrived!
What if he marries over there
In a strange land far away!
I'll never see his wife or child
However much I pray!
And, if he dies, I'll never know!
So even now I mourn
For my lovely boy who's gone from me!
Why ever was he born!
My heart is like an Autumn leaf,
Dead and yet still existing!
The laughter's vanished from my life!
With tears my eyes are misting.
He's gone! A yawning gulf's been built
By my own son erected!
And I shall live till my dying day
Distraught and disconnected!

My son has left for America.
He'll be working over there.
I felt a little teary
As the plane took to the air.
But, as he says, a hop and skip
Is all it takes these days
And we can all communicate
In so many different ways.
He'll text me when the plane arrives;
Should be any minute now.
And then I'll know the which and when
And where and who and how!
He's going to send an email;
I expect he'll attach some shots
Of all the places that he'll see;
All the really scenic spots.
I'm glad that we have both got Skype;
That means I'll see his face
And we can have a lengthy chat,
Sitting there, face to face.
I plan to take a trip in June;
Two months and then I'll leave.
And he's coming home for Christmas!
He'll arrive on New Years Eve.
It's great that we can keep in touch.
I'll never feel neglected.
The world has shrunk so very small
We're no more disconnected.
More thoughts on emigration here:


Dee Martin said...

Oh I went and read Silver and Blue and it as well as this touched me. My grandmother left Glasgow when she was a young woman and emigrated to Canada where she worked as a cook to pay for her way there. She was alone and I have tried to picture her then and wondered what went through her mind. She was the bravest lady I ever knew. Thanks for sharing this and reminding me :)

George S Batty said...

What a nice way to put the connect into disconnect. Beautifully put together

Auntie Q said...

I loved the comparison of the two poems. I cannot imagine how painful it was for people to leave their families knowing they'd never know what happened or ever see them again...

Americanising Desi said...

very touching and neat prompt Brenda!

Happy SS

Marja said...

Nice one. Now exactly where you talking about. Just came back from a family visit overseas. I talk to my mum every week on MSN and it is great to see each other on the camera and chat like we are sitting next to each other. Makes life a lot easier

anthonynorth said...

How things change. You describe it perfectly here.

irenet said...

I'm so glad to read part 2 of your poem. I felt the rhythm of your lines like the skipping of your soulful heart. May you stay connected with your son everyday..

GreenishLady said...

This is a wonderful post, and I can so relate to it, too, with my son now living in Argentina... it seems we are more in contact now than when he was away at college. Technology is wonderful (when it doesn't let you down... which is where my post started out). Thanks. I enjoyed this.

danni said...

beautifully complimentary verses - the marriage of the now and the then was such an original perspective - much enjoyed!!!

keith said...

What a delightful post. Really clever use of the prompt.


Even 20 years ago, it was not so simple. America was a very far away and distant place when my son left to continue his studies. Letters took more than a week to arrive and phone calls were expensive. The familiar face would have started fading in memory by the time we saw hm next.

But now! - you have said it all. Thank you internet. :)

Tumblewords: said...

An incredible amount of change has taken place - these are poems that resonate!

Anonymous said...

Very evocative Mum - I really enjoyed this!

Anonymous said...

i absolutely love the comparison here..


The Dark Lord said...

Ah, awesome, specially how you put the two in perpective... Come to think of it, we rarely pause to think or realize the humongous amount of change that has taken place around us.. I'd say 1809 is going way back... I think there are massive changes if you bring into perspect even, say, a time five decades back.. All in all, a huge, definitive and permanent migration!

Maggie said...

This was a wonderful contrast in parting as it applied in different times. I recall in the 1960s when my husband was stationed in North Africa, my mama said she felt she would never see us again and we were gone for three years. At that time, we had no money or phone so letters were all we could do for those three years.
It was an interesting time for me and my family but not for my mama.
She wanted us back in the States.

SandyCarlson said...

Skype is a blessing and a half.

Sherri B. said...

My, how the world has changed. I loved how you compared the past to the present in two separate poems...this was so clever and impactful. Beautifully written!

Loch Rob said...

Great take on the prompt with a comparision of today and the way it used to be. We take technology and all the communication avenues we have for granted. I get emails and phone calls globally now on my blackberry. How cool is that? Very nicely done.

Jim said...

Brenda, this is a wonderful twist on the prompt. Of course! Most U.S. citizens have migrated from someplace.
In our family our anscestors, the Fletchers, came right after the Mayflower. A cousin, Moses Fletcher, did come othe Mayflower.
They were able to corespond with the homefolk, we have a copy of their Thanksgiving letter to the English relatives. Moses had died.
Now our daughter is talking of reversing that migratory trip. Her e-mail and text messaging works to us from the U.K. We have visited quite a few times, visiting her would be an excuse to go again. (Australia is on our bucket list.)

Jukota said...

Absolutely love this! How often I've said the same to people, only I've come from the angle of being able to reach so far, but I like how you put it, "the world has shrunk so very small..."

JP/deb said...

love how the two poems contrast in time and experience, but compare in form.


spacedlaw said...

Modern times technology is so good for the migrants and their family!

Scribbles said...

wow. Loved this!

Tumblewords: said...

This is wonderful! Love it!

Pam said...

So much has changed in the last 100 years. I am glad we are much more connected but nothing beats a physical presence.

Tammie Lee said...

my such a wonderful poem!
amazing how the times have changed as well as how they have not.

one more believer said...

i can't help but to think we all came from is good to read abt the journey...

gabrielle said...

These two gems, side by side, convey the breadth of a mother’s interior landscape. From anxiety to elation, abandonment to elation. The language of each piece reflects the era – embellished vs. clipped. The world has truly become smaller and it’s the happy family that remains connected.