This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us.
She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…
Boiled eggs had a distinctive smell
With buttered toast, and tea
Served from a silver tray,
And sugar lumps picked up with tongs.
And in the hearth the kettle sang,
Its’ trivet hinged and black,
And war dared not impinge
On timeless English ritual.
On washdays, silver hair was crowned
With snowy lacy cap,
And freshly-laundered sheets
Laid reverently, with lavender
Grown in the arbour where the rose
Grew thickly round about
The ancient rustic wood;
A fragrant pathway to the door.
Geraniums lent distinctive scent
To summer days now past,
And the old ‘snowball’ tree
And silky strands of pampas grass.
Whilst near the back door, sage grew in
Abundance. Still my thoughts
Stray back when summer scents
Steal through our now-polluted air.
© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards