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Ballad of Joyce Hill

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  To her family she was coy
  but truly she would be their Joy,
  a country girl from Kingaroy -
                     the fourth of eleven.
  Over hill and range she would tramp
  living in tents from camp to camp
  by the glow of a railway lamp
               and the stars in heaven!

  Along the way past Many Peaks
  swam in Splinter and Monal Creeks
  where a child a gay frolic seeks
                   in the heat of the day.
  Up on the range where it outlooks
  when not tending the campsite chooks
  she read in school her beloved books
                   dreaming of far away!

  As an older girl on horseback
  she'd ride for miles a dusty track
  like a drover with a knapsack
            where the long trail begins.
  Up "dash it" early milking cows,
  picking cotton and feeding sows
  and shooting possums in their boughs
               to sell their bounty skins!

 "O someday I'll teach school" she said
  till she met Arthur Hill and wed
  and bore life to her eldest, Ted -
               the first of eight to come.
  In Mt Morgan where miners drilled
  as rains came and Trotters Creek filled
  a new life on the land she'd build
                 and be a wife and mum!

  But on their farm and dairy run
 "hells bells" there was work to be done
  from sunup to the setting sun
            and all must do their share.
  Through the Great Depression and war
  a boundless faith to God she swore
  and it burned in her evermore
                      in His heavenly care!

  Her hands had many mouths to feed
  and so when hungry kids did plead
  she baked the bread dough that she knead
               in the old woodfired stove.
  And with her weary frame so sprite
  late as the curlews cried at night
  she read her bible with delight
                        as it did her behove!

  In her time a digger of wells
  when the winds blew in dry hot spells
  and echoed the sound of train bells
                  up and down the railway.
  A grazier, tiller, and sower,
  a painter, milker, and grower,
  a doer, thinker, and knower,
                         and a potter of clay!

  To all her far flung family
  a great-great-grandmother was she,
  and like a grandmother to me
                 whom I most gladly knew.
  So now when I hear the tick tock
  and chimes of the pendulum clock
  or "tommyrot" and "poppycock"
                        I'm reminded of you!

                August 2016

Joyce or "Joy" was my wife's grandmother.
A remarkable woman who I got to know well.
Despite what it says in the funeral notice 
she was in fact a great-great-grandmother.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016

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Date: 12/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
Keith congrats on your win!;)
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Date: 1/17/2019 6:34:00 PM
did you get to know her a long time?
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/17/2019 8:45:00 PM
15 years I knew her. Her energy and drive put mine to shame.
Date: 1/17/2019 6:33:00 PM
what a wonderful tribute this is. I did not see anything recent and finally realized I was reading poems of yours I commented to before, so it was great to find this one about an amazing woman.
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Date: 8/16/2016 11:48:00 PM
Beautiful. It was like the words were a sepia-toned photo series...
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 8/17/2016 1:04:00 AM
Thank you muchly, Tom. I hope I did her memory proud. God bless!