WHERE LIFE HAS LED
© Brenda Joy

Winner, 2014 Literary Award, Kingaroy Queensland.

My son has chosen city life — he’s left the bush for dead.
He’s got himself a classy wife, two youngsters they have bred.
They live amongst the urban fog, enclosed against the din
of traffic, neighbour, barking dog —  the constant social spin.

He left behind his childhood dreams of working on the land.
He’s full of money-making schemes I don’t quite understand,
for money can’t buy happiness.  I think, the more you get
the more you spend to help impress the upward-climbing set.

He always was the smartest lad at his one-teacher school;
to see him prosper made us glad. We knew he was no fool.
But then he made erratic friends at University
and got enmeshed in modern trends and strange philosophy.

He turned from Nature's drapery that cloaked him from his birth.
It’s now degrees on paper he considers have more worth.
His work takes place in mental realms, technology and such,
where competition overwhelms and mates don't count for much.

His high ideals have watered down, commercialism’s won.
whilst whims of advertising drown the instincts of his son.
They live cocooned in comfort zone, his children and his wife,
where progress and congestion drone out links to rural life.

Yet, as a boy out on the farm, he knew the country ways;
importance of the storm or calm, the patterns of the days,
the cycles that the seasons brought, the nature of the crop —
environmental reasons taught him when to start or stop.

Perhaps the harshness of it all was why he turned away,
and heaven knows, I can recall the traumas of the day —
the storms, bushfires, floods the drought, the locust plague, the flies,
the winds that dried the women out and lined their laughing eyes.

They bred the fair sex hardy there.  My wife was of the best;
I’ve never had more pain to bear than when she lay to rest.
The house without her was a shell, not meant for just a bloke.
My boy then helped me pack and sell and took me to ‘The Smoke’.

He treated me with all respect and gave me loving care
but I’m afraid he could detect I wasn’t happy there,
for we had grown so far apart my only child and I
and though it fairly broke my heart, I had to say goodbye.

His dreams lie in a future “When...”. My future is ‘the Now’.
I’m far too old to start again — don’t need to anyhow.
I have returned to simple ways that I have known before
to spend the winter of my days in harmony once more. 


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