Golden Wedding

© Shelley Hansen, 2016

Winner, 2016 Open Award, C J Dennis Poetry Competition, Toolangi, Victoria.

I’ve dun me three-score-years-an’-ten, an’ jist a cupple more
an’ fifty uv ’em spent wiv my Doreen.
an’ now I’m gazin’ back
at ’ow we’ve travelled on life’s track
an’ thinkin’ uv the things we dun an’ seen.
It seems like only yesterday me ’eart set up a rore
when first I saw that bonzer little peach
wot took me bref away!
I tried ter stop ’er wiv, “G’day”,
but knoo that she wus way above me reach!

But strike!  Yeh’ve read me story an’ yeh know it orl fer sure –
’ow it turned out so ’appy in the end.
It’s fifty years today
since I stood tall ter ’ear ’er say
“I do!”  An’ vowed ter love ’er an’ defend
’er honour – an’ ter put ’er wimmin’s needs an’ wants before
me own.  Yes, me!  Wot used me fists an’ sed
I’d think uv jist meself!
I put me ego on the shelf
an’ swore ter guard each ’air upon ’er ’ead.

I’ve learnt a thing or two (Doreen ’ud say I’ve learnt a score!)
I thort this marridge caper wus a case
uv ’usbands bein’ strong
an’ ’elpin’ wives ter get along
wiv life.  But, ’struth!  I wusn’t in the race!
Yeh’d think that she wus fragile, like the cristels wot she wore
that day wot joined our lives till death us part.
I thort I loved ’er then
but love is daily born again
’cors I ’ave learnt the strength uv Doreen’s ’eart.

That pilot cove, ol’ Snowy, torked uv ’ow the inner core
uv wimmin is as strong an’ tuff as steel.
’E sed they wus designed
ter ’elp a bloke ter be refined
an’ chuck a bit o’ polish in ’is spiel.
A lovin’ wife became a lovin’ muvver when she bore
our son, ’oo made our family complete.
An’ now we’re Nan an’ Par
ter gran’kids – ’oo’d ’a’ thort this far
ahead back there down Little Lonsdale Street?

I thinks uv Ginger Mick ’oo went ter join the greatest “War
ter end orl Wars”.  ’E didn’t know ’e’d fall.
’E paid the ’ighest price
but did ’e dream ’is sacrifice
would start the darkest century uv orl?
I thinks uv orl the cobbers wot we’ve lost in days uv yore –
we’ve learnt wot sickness means, an’ ’eartache too.
But now, ’ere on the farm
I sit content an’ safe frum ’arm
an’ cherish ’appy thorts ter see me thro’.

I looks at ’er an’ sees ’er ’air is grey.  Would I restore
our youth if I wus bless’d wiv ’arf a chance?
Too late ter stop the clock –
we’ve lived an’ larfed, an’ taken stock,
an’ learnt that love is better than romance.
We never made a forchin –  foke might say that we wus pore
but fifty years ’ave tort me that a wife
’oose name I speaks wiv pride
an’ ’oo walks faithful by me side
is rare as dimonds … thro’ the mooch o’ life.

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