Friday, May 25, 2012

The Tell-Tale Room


asks us to recall a room


Her image, preserved for posterity.
But no picture of the room.
Photographs were out-door things.
The room told the tale of her life
But I didn't read it
For many, many years.
When did I first enter Grandma's dining-room?
As a baby, I suppose;
I have no recollection of the event.
I can just recall
Year after year of entering
And never realising what I saw.
Oh, I clearly saw the dresser with its mirrors,
Piled with cups and plates and ornaments;
The two chairs either side of the fire;
The enormous picture of a farm-hand 
Steadying runaway horses;
The old photograph of my great-grand-parents
Staring sternly from the wall;
The settee, upon which Grandma 
Took her forty-winks,
After she had fed us all.
But I never really saw Grandma.
We were almost enemies!
I had been born ten years after
Her beloved first granddaughter
And she never forgave me for that.
It was an armed-truce from day one!
I remember her as thin-lipped,
Grandpa! Now that was a different matter!
He was solid, dimpled, always jovial,
With the remains of dark curls
Spilling around his ears.
He was jovial, full of jokes,
With a hearty laugh.
Grandpa was a dear.
He was known as Sunny Jim!
But was he?
Grandpa designed the house.
He put the kitchen at the back;
He put the dining-room at the front.
He arranged it so that,
Between the two, stretched a very long corridor.
I can hear her now......
Padding along that endless corridor,
Carrying plates, dishes, cutlery, and food.
So much food!
She had spent hours creating it!
While Grandpa sat in the sun.
She would spend more tidying after it!
While Grandpa snored by the fire.
I never saw him lift a finger.
'Grandma was just a drudge'
Said my cousin to me,
Fifty years later.
And she was.
That dining-room,
So far from the kitchen,
Told the tale.
And yet I never read it as a child!
And it is too late for an apology.


I'm constantly bemused by Quantum theory
But afraid to make a really stupid query.
I listen to the wise and erudite
That spout their views on TV every night.
I see the charts and view the animations,
Explaining all the various situations,
But still I feel befuddled and bemused
By all the data that I have perused.
So that is why I'm feeling more relaxed
Since learning even Einstein's brain was taxed.
If other people feel the way I do....
That quantam theory almost sounds untrue....
I'll now explain it to my best ability,
Though it requires great cerebral agility!
Once I thought that only was dense,
But the universe, it seems, stopped making sense!
The theories didn't add-up as they should
And this, for Science was bad news, not good.
So then they searched for something so minute
That it was almost too hard to compute.
It seems that nucleus 'stuff' is on the move,
Although that fact is very hard to prove!
It can be doing anything at all,
Until we look at it! (And it's too small!)
Now let me say a word on 'Schrodinger's cat',
An animal that we are looking at.
Put the poor creature in a box that's sealed.
We know it's living though it is concealed.
Open the box and add some cyanide!
Re-seal the box and guess if the cat has died!
This is supposed to illustrate
The un-knowingness of an unseen quantam's fate!
Its status is un-knowable, you see,
Until the 'box' is opened and it's free!
'Aha!' you say, 'At last I know what's cooking!'
Oh no you don't! You've altered things by looking!
At this point I'm completely mystified!
I almost hope the wretched 'cat' has died!
The illustration hasn't helped at all!
Physics, to me, is just a great blank wall!
But there may be some readers who declare
'Eureka!' and then jump into the air,
Because, at last, they understand the theory!
If so, please let me know!
I'm feeling weary!


Margaret Gosden said...

That is the image of your grandmother that I recall! The rest I probably took for granted because that is how it was - we seemed always to be in the kitchen and my brothers and father off somewhere, doing something of their own, perhaps waiting for the next meal! That was in the days when a woman's 'career' was in the home.
While we abhor wars, WW2 certainly opened up better prospects for women.

Kellie said...

Oh I just love how you describe so vividly the room, the fireplace, the chairs and the dresser piled with dinner ware. I was right there in that dining room with you. I could almost smell wood burning. Beautifully written! Thank you and sooo good to have you back this week!