YOUR TIME WAS DONE RIGHT
To each a time and place
no apologies for past
nor responsibility for future.
Slavery, the Slaughter at Wounded Knee,
and many black outlined newspaper stories
were in someone else's time.
Your life calendar time
marked a new century, baby innocent,
turning to haunting times.
Born in a CF&I coal camp no longer there
beat the strike of 1913 but
visitied Ludlow days before the massacre.
Poor was not poverty
just short of money,
long on needs.
They marched off
to Save the World for Democracy
and gave a lung or leg.
A teen seeing flappers
having risky fun
bootleg booze and razz ma tazz jazz.
Poor is fertile ground to grow
great work ethics,
frugal tracking and careful planning.
School smarts shelved too soon,
work smarts rolled out,
paraded around the office.
No latch key boys,
tended and hot-fed while others
coped with the Great Depression.
Husband too old
boys too young to Save again,
serve with ration books and meatless days.
Once more parade of survivors
empty sleeves and worn uniforms
looking for their prize of peace.
Loud shouts of beat poetry
did not turn your head
from the tasks of tending boys.
Tended, hot-fed boys
to live out your unfinished goals
got a work ethic as your gift of tools.
School and not the work
of the poor birthed
all the degrees missed.
Before you, there was shame
not yours, as you coped
with your given time slot.
After you, there will be more shame
not yours but mine as I try
to remember how you did your time.
I often think that my mothers telling of her life has meant that it has become part of my history. So it should be that one generations time blends into the next as seamless as possible. The pictures of my mother in Kit Carson Park are so much a part of me that I can taste the lemonade.