Monday, January 28, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: A Poem by Daisy Lee

Daisy Lee Long
My granddad's sister, Daisy Lee Long, penned the following poem in 1943 when she was about sixty years old.  In the poem, Daisy reflects on the happy times she and her brothers had growing up in rural Trimble County, Kentucky, along the Ohio River.  I believe she is writing/speaking to her brother, Virgil, throughout the piece.  What makes this poem even more meaningful is that Daisy and her three brothers, Frank, Virgil, and Orin, DID go back to Trimble County together in 1950, and they DID revisit all these places of their youth.  Luckily, they documented their visit through photos that I'll share on this blog in the coming days.

Looking Backward In 1943

Dear "Old Pete" of our by-gone days;
Do you remember our funny ways
How we drank from the DEAR OLD GOURD
That laid on the back of the CISTERN board?

Those days have gone but GOURDS have not
For I'm sending you one--the best I've got.
Drink from it often and think of me
For I have not forgotten THOSE DAYS you see!

Maybe some day in time to come
We may go together to THAT OLD HOME
And live over the days of LONG AGO
BUT--would it be fun like the days of yore?

Would the RIVER seem the same as it used to be?
Would the BARNYARD be as interesting to see?
Would the OLD WELL be there to "holler" down?
Would we be able to ride "OLD BUTTERFLY" to town?

Would YOU be able to trot down the lane
On your CORN STALK legs and return again?
Would THE PIGS be there their backs to scratch?
Would we be able to find A WATERMELON PATCH?

Would FRANK be able, on a frosty morn
To get out of bed and cut the corn?
To milk "OLD MAUD," while she ate from the pan
Who annoyed HIM greatly, when her tail she would fan?

Would FRANK go with us to the BACKHOUSE
And stand outside, as scared as a mouse
While you and I told stories of FRIGHT
The whole time HATING US with all his might????

I'm sure we would all be children AGAIN
And "tend like" it was the real thing.
LITTLE OLD ORIN would join in the fun
To keep up with US, he would have to RUN!

If MOTHER were with us--backward she'd look,
To keep THEM all happy--carefree and well
Of many FOND STORIES, she MAYBE would tell?

When the WAR is OVER, and we have good weather?
In the meantime let us THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE
And ask HIM to allow us to return to the PLACE.

          A LITTLE OLD GOURD inspired these lines--
                                                               Daisy L. Long

Daisy Lee Long's Poem as she typed it in 1943

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