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I Wish I Knew Them - A Poem

Maren has taught pre-school through college. She loves the wonder of learning.

Irma and Anthony Wilzbach

Irma and Anthony Wilzbach

I Wish I Knew Them

She was raised by two people born in the eighteen hundreds

And then she raised me.

Jesus, the world has changed so much.

Those two: there was no radio, no automobiles, no television.

(Millennials and laters: obviously there was no nuclear anything, no Internet, no home computers, no mobile phones.)

Those two: horses pulled truck bodies to deliver milk or vegetables or a big block of ice to the predecessor to refrigerators.

They sent their children to the neighborhood saloon with an empty glass pitcher and a quarter to buy beer to bring home for the grown-ups. And God help any child who dropped the slopping full pitcher.

They rolled their own cigarettes from tobacco they themselves grew.

They were city people, yet made their own booze and root beer and bottled it every Monday night.

One lost her husband in France during the war to end all wars.

Women could die after childbirth since antibiotics were not yet known.

Those two were the first generation American-born and spoke more than one language.

He was raised by two people born in the first decade of the nineteen hundreds

And then he raised me.

Jesus, the world is so different.

His two: any distant trips were taken on steam-engine trains.

Inside lighting was by gas pumped through the walls or kerosene lanterns.

Farmhouses still had outhouses.

One spent two years away from home working wherever he could find something and sending money home to his wife.

One was a Rosie-the-Riveter during the second world war oiling train engine wheels third shift.

Those four lived their whole lives in the place where they were born.

Those four had to drop out of school before twelfth grade to begin working to help their families.

Those four worked hard all their lives.

I never lived near enough to them to get to know them. I saw each pair perhaps two or three times a year when they were already worn down by age.

I hope I get to know them in Heaven.

Herman and Anna Morgan

Herman and Anna Morgan

© 2022 Maren Elizabeth Morgan