Saturday, May 19, 2012

Both Sides Now


The year was 1956 and I was on my way
Off to live in Africa. I longed to get away.
Life in a little village was proving rather staid;
I wanted to see the big wide world, where my fortune might be made.
As we waited on the platform I took this parting shot.
How cheerfully they're smiling; yet, inside, they were not.
My mother and my father, so roughly cast aside!
Did I care about their welfare? Maybe a little bit.
But I was young and excited; my old life didn't fit.
I was impatient to get going. Oh, I'd come back some day
But I wasn't making promises. I was keen to get away.
And the train came in, and the train steamed out and they were left behind.
And how they felt about me was the last thing on my mind.
The year was 1996 and my son was going to fly
Off to live in London. We had to say goodbye.
We gathered at the airport; I swore I was going to smile
But to London from Australia was many a weary mile.
'I'll definitely come back some day'........ my son gave a cheerful grin,
Quite unaware of the turmoil that his grieving mother was in.
He was so light-hearted; my heart was heavy as lead;
I wasn't really listening to the comforting words he said.
I disgraced myself by crying behind a pillar in the hall,
And I remembered my parents, who hadn't cried at all.
Was I caring, now, too much and then just not enough?
Were my parents, long ago, just made of sterner stuff?
It hadn't really crossed my mind during all the years between;
It took me forty years to learn how cruel I had been.


Lined-up for the party, regimented row on row,
The wine-glasses are waiting for the liquid gold to flow.
Polished to perfection, shining in the sun,
'Bottoms Up!' everyone will cry!
Ain't life fun!

1 comment:

Don said...

Enjoyed the poem/post. The wanderlust is not a bad bug, except perhaps to those left behind. My daughter, who left for college at 17, lived in various United States for 13 years... until last May when her husband secured a teaching job at a college 5 miles away. They rented a house two blocks away. So... both sides now can have a happy ending. ;-)