Monday, July 16, 2007

Family poems

My sis-in-law put together a book of poems by our grandmother a few years ago. I've always wanted to share them and as I was re-reading the booklet, I found one that felt very timely for me. This poem is by Dorothea Alice Gottshall (1913-2000).

To a Childhood Friend

Katy, was the girl across the street,
Her hair was the color of the crow,
But being part Irish, she was run to know.

Before the lumber companies came along,
And cut down the forest, not far from our homes

Through those tall trees We would often roam.
And picked the violets by the stream.
And in the sunny month of May, made wreaths of flowering crab apples from the trees near-bye.

Or hunted for cowslip, the trees shady places
as well as the mayflowers in the same places,
But most of all I remember best,
was the recipe for getting rid of freckles,
Go to an old tree stump, and from the water lying within,
Bathe the freckled portion, once or twice.

Although my neighbor friend did so,
Alas/Alack, they did not go, the freckles that is.

-Dorothea Alice Gottshall

This poem is so interesting. It's about friendship and those golden times when kids make worlds of their own. It's also interesting how she mentions the trees being cut down by the lumber companies with a touch of sadness...Also, the humor and a bit of folklore about freckles. Just an enchanting sort of world, really.

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