Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Compliment

Not Me!

A compliment that you expect,
That you consider quite correct,
Is not received with quite the verve
Of one you know you don't deserve.
You merely think 'Oh yes! That's right.'
No jigging about with wild delight!
But a compliment out of the blue,
That doesn't seem to apply to you,
Is thought about a lot, and cherished;
Some memories have never perished.
My handwriting is very bland,
A Kindergarten teacher's hand,
Formed by years of chalkboard writing,
Which, certainly, is not exciting.
I'm really quite ashamed of it.
It doesn't please me one little bit.
But an old friend once made this declaration,
Which filled me with strange jubilation!
'I've tried to fashion my hand on yours'
She said! My writing! With its flaws!
Enormously I was flabbergasted!
And the flabbergasting's lasted!
An undeserved compliment gives a thrill
That no deserved ones ever will!


I am my Mother's daughter; that's how it always feels.
But this is not my mother; this is Caroline Eales.
This is my grandmother and yet I scarcely knew her,
So it would be so easy for me to misconstrue her.
I am my Mother's daughter; I am her replacement.
And yet I'm always pondering on exactly what this face meant.
This lady was my Father's mother; I only met her twice
And, when I did I seem to remember she wasn't very nice!
I suppose I was being noisy and she merely shook her head!
'I only like quiet children' ! Yes! That was what she said!
They're the only words I remember from a lady I rarely met
But her words have always lingered in a way I can't forget.
In my mind she became a dragon and a distant one at that!
My mother didn't care for her; I became her copy-cat.
Caroline was bombed-out and she died within the year.
I heard about it vaguely but I never shed a tear!
Caroline Eales! A person I never gave much thought to,
But now that I'm a blogger I really think I ought to!
Because her features resemble mine, as shown in this picture here,
Much more so than my Mother's or so it would appear.
And I am brusque with children, though I never mean them harm!
(Maybe I frighten my grandsons and fill them with alarm!)
Caroline Eales! A mystery but less so since I met Jean,
A cousin on my father's side whom I had rarely seen.
"She was always known as 'Kitty'. People remember her well.
She loved to entertain them and had many a tale to tell.
She was a member of the church and loved to get up and speak.
They say she was rather bossy; very far from meek"
And isn't that me? My Mother's daughter? Maybe not completely.
Maybe a bit of Caroline lingers there discretely!
I remember my Mother saying "Her house is full of dust!
I think she only cleans it when she absolutely must!
She sits there with her cronies, holding forth without a care,
While anyone can see the dust that's underneath her chair!"
Oh Kitty, Kitty, Caroline, we're related after all!
I bet if we got together we would really have a ball!

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