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A Simple Story

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Below is the poem entitled A Simple Story which was written by poet harry horsman. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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A Simple Story

I was born in 1943
in a rural backwater safe from the bombs
also a safety net still akin to the 19th century.
Neither electricity nor gas
only an old oil lamp and candles for comfort.
The luxury of the tin bath once a week
brought in from the scullery, placed in front 
of the cast iron Yorkist fire range
with hob and side boiler, to source the hot water
poured into the bath at regular intervals
to help keep out the cold.
Old overcoats and hessian sacks placed across 
the bottom of the doorways, to aid keeps out the icy drafts,
also aid as foot warmers once upon the beds.
A copper boiler for the weekly wash
a fire beneath to be lit, a combination of paper
sticks of kindling all pre chopped
as were the logs to maintain the heat
of the dark stained grey coloured water,
stirred by the posser, to aid mixture 
of the home made soap, and the garments.
Slop bucket (The posh name for it)
to be emptied every morning,
carried down the lane to the tippler convenience
care not to spill on the seat or trouble with the neighbours.
Wet batteries for the wireless
to be carried once a week from the local store,
replacements for the empty ones
a choice of 2 stations
BBC and BBC.
Early nights, early mornings the darkness prevailing
throughout the long winter months,
only for the daylight to never end
in the month of June, impeding one’s sleep
even then we were never satisfied with our lot in life.
Only my father laying in a military hospital
a casualty of war, was missing the value of it all
after all he was fighting for it
his life style, his freedom our freedom
to enable me to write this, ever so simple story!

© Harry J Horsman 2013   

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  1. Date: 10/15/2013 6:00:00 PM
    MY GOODNESS> this is a wonderful autobiography. VERY WEll told, my friend. I loved hearing how you used to live. I think it would make one so grateful for the changes of modern life. we had it a bit bad in my childhood but I'm so glad I didn't have to worry about some of this stuff you had to endure. What inspired you to write of this now?

  1. Date: 10/15/2013 5:18:00 PM
    Something the young ones have never heard and need to... Wonderful write... My Great Aunt lived to 107. She drove a horse and buggy to town to school every day... Milked the 17 cows before leaving home... and delivered milk and eggs to the small warehouse town grocer before school. Then milked the cows again after school. Saw a man land on the moon and computers bloom to prominence... She rode the train 80 miles each weekend to help elderly parents. Then took care of them later by herself...

  1. Date: 10/15/2013 1:19:00 PM
    Hi Harry, Great story poem here...Thanks for the visit to my verse.. Ken

  1. Date: 10/15/2013 12:11:00 PM
    - I recognize some of this Harry ...... especially with bathing once a week .... :) - Was clean behind the ears as well .... - Very enjoyable to read!! - oxox // Anne-Lise :)

  1. Date: 10/15/2013 11:46:00 AM
    nothing simple about this stark reality write Harry it tells it as it was I was born in 1950 and remember the old tin bath well. beautifully expressed and very enjoyable read 7 Shadow x smile

  1. Date: 10/15/2013 9:31:00 AM
    Harry...you are a great story teller....Wow....what a touching end to the story...Harry, you must publish this. You must....How heartwarming....hugs

  1. Date: 10/15/2013 8:28:00 AM
    wow love this harry must admit you are older than me but this rings so many bells, well done xx