In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659 – By Anne Bradstreet

I had eight birds hatcht in one nest,
Four Cocks were there, and Hens the rest.
I nurst them up with pain and care,
No cost nor labour did I spare
Till at the last they felt their wing,
Mounted the Trees and learned to sing.
Chief of the Brood then took his flight
To Regions far and left me quite.
My mournful chirps I after send
Till he return, or I do end.
Leave not thy nest, thy Dame and Sire,
Fly back and sing amidst this Quire.
My second bird did take her flight
And with her mate flew out of sight.
Southward they both their course did bend,
And Seasons twain they there did spend,
Till after blown by Southern gales
They Norward steer’d with filled sails.
A prettier bird was no where seen,
Along the Beach, among the treen.
I have a third of colour white
On whom I plac’d no small delight,
Coupled with mate loving and true,
Hath also bid her Dame adieu.
And where Aurora first appears,
She now hath percht to spend her years.
One to the Academy flew
To chat among that learned crew.
Ambition moves still in his breast
That he might chant above the rest,
Striving for more than to do well,
That nightingales he might excell.
My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone,
Is ‘mongst the shrubs and bushes flown
And as his wings increase in strength
On higher boughs he’ll perch at length.
My other three still with me nest
Until they’re grown, then as the rest,
Or here or there, they’ll take their flight,
As is ordain’d, so shall they light.
If birds could weep, then would my tears
Let others know what are my fears
Lest this my brood some harm should catch
And be surpris’d for want of watch
Whilst pecking corn and void of care
They fall un’wares in Fowler’s snare;
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing
Some untoward boy at them do fling,
Or whilst allur’d with bell and glass
The net be spread and caught, alas;
Or lest by Lime-twigs they be foil’d;
Or by some greedy hawks be spoil’d.
O would, my young, ye saw my breast
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest.
Great was my pain when I you bred,
Great was my care when I you fed.
Long did I keep you soft and warm
And with my wings kept off all harm.
My cares are more, and fears, than ever,
My throbs such now as ‘fore were never.
Alas, my birds, you wisdom want
Of perils you are ignorant.
Oft times in grass, on trees, in flight,
Sore accidents on you may light.
O to your safety have an eye,
So happy may you live and die.
Mean while, my days in tunes I’ll spend
Till my weak lays with me shall end.
In shady woods I’ll sit and sing
And things that past, to mind I’ll bring.
Once young and pleasant, as are you,
But former toys (no joys) adieu!
My age I will not once lament
But sing, my time so near is spent,
And from the top bough take my flight
Into a country beyond sight
Where old ones instantly grow young
And there with seraphims set song.
No seasons cold, nor storms they see
But spring lasts to eternity.
When each of you shall in your nest
Among your young ones take your rest,
In chirping languages oft them tell
You had a Dame that lov’d you well,
That did what could be done for young
And nurst you up till you were strong
And ‘fore she once would let you fly
She shew’d you joy and misery,
Taught what was good, and what was ill,
What would save life, and what would kill.
Thus gone, amongst you I may live,
And dead, yet speak and counsel give.
Farewell, my birds, farewell, adieu,
I happy am, if well with you.


Another year has passed
And we’re all a little older.
Last summer felt hotter
And winter seems much colder.

There was a time not long ago
When life was quite a blast.
Now I fully understand
About ‘Living in the Past’

We used to go to weddings,
Football games and lunches..
Now we go to funeral homes
And after-funeral brunches.

We used to have hangovers,
From parties that were gay.
Now we suffer body aches
And wile the night away.

We used to go out dining,
And couldn’t get our fill.
Now we ask for doggie bags,
Come home and take a pill.

We used to often travel
To places near and far.
Now we get sore asses
From riding in the car.

We used to go to nightclubs
And drink a little booze.
Now we stay home at night
And watch the evening news.

That, my friend is how life is,
And now my tale is told.
So, enjoy each day and live it up…
Before you’re too damned old!

No Sat-Nav?

I have a little Garmin
It sits there in my car
A Garmin is a driver’s friend;
It tells you where you are.

I have a little Garmin
I’ve had it all my life
It’s better than the normal ones;
My Garmin is my wife.

It gives me full instructions
Especially how to drive
“It’s thirty miles an hour,” it says
“You’re doing thirty five.”

It tells me when to stop and start
And when to use the brake
And tells me that it’s never ever
Safe to overtake.

It tells me when a light is red
And when it goes to green
It seems to know instinctively
Just when to intervene.

It lists the vehicles just in front
And all those to the rear
And with account of this
It specifies my gear.

I’m sure no other driver
Has so helpful a device
For when we leave and lock the car
It still gives its advice.

It gives me such good counsel
Each journey’s pretty fraught
So why don’t I exchange it
And get a quieter sort?

Ah well, you see, it cleans the house,
Makes sure I’m properly fed,
It washes all my shirts and things
And – keeps me warm in bed!

Despite all such advantages
And tendency to scoff,
I do yearn just occasionally
To turn the damned thing off!

Remembering Mom’s Clothesline

There is one thing that’s left out: we had a long wooden pole (clothes pole – prop) that was used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn’t brush the ground and get dirty.

You have to be a “certain age” to appreciate this one….(But you YOUNGER ones can read about “The GOOD ol’ days”!!)

I can hear my mother now…..

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes… NOT the top.

2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs… NOT the waistbands.

3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes – walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.

5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?

6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven’s sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!)

8. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather… Clothes would “freeze-dry.”

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were “tacky”!

10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with

The next washed item.

11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

12. IRONED???!! Well, that’s a whole OTHER subject!

And now a POEM …

A clothesline was a news forecast, To neighbors passing by,

Then no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link, For neighbors always knew

If company had stopped on by, To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets”, And towels upon the line;

You’d see the “company table cloths”, With an intricate design.

The line announced a baby’s birth, From folks who lived inside,

As brand new infant clothes were hung, So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could, So readily be known

By watching how the sizes changed, You’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung;

Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “Vacation now”, When lines hung limp and bare.

It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon, When wash dingy and gray,

As neighbors carefully raised their brows, And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work much less.

Now what goes on inside a home, Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life, It was a friendly sign

When neighbors knew each other best… By what hung on that line

This Kid Gets It!

BY a 15 yr. OLD SCHOOL KID who got an A+ for this entry

Since the Pledge of Allegiance
And The Lord’s Prayer
Are not allowed in most Public schools anymore
Because the word ‘God’ is mentioned…..
A kid in Arizona wrote the attached
NEW School prayer:

“New Pledge of Allegiance”
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene..
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all..
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks…
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught such ‘judgments’ don’t belong..

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles..
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!


Aah, The Golden Years!


A row of bottles on my shelf Caused me to analyze myself.

One yellow pill I have to pop Goes to my heart so it won’t stop.

A little white one that I take Goes to my hands so they won’t shake.

The blue ones that I use a lot Tell me I’m happy when I’m not.

The purple pill goes to my brain And tells me that I have no pain.

The capsules tell me not to wheeze Or cough or choke or even sneeze.

The red ones, smallest of them all Go to my blood so I won’t fall.

The orange ones, so big and bright Prevent my leg cramps in the night.

Such an array of brilliant pills Helping to cure all kinds of ills.

But what I’d really like to know……….. Is what tells each one where to go!