Of the past I oft remember,
though at times it was not great.
Very soft, I tread the memory.
Was it a school or was it fate?
Hard the chore to put together.
Puzzle pieces now I see.
Seven children seldom settled.
Next to last included me.
We were poor and pressed survival.
To make it through there was no line.
Many days we were not certain, but
Tomorrow for us the sun would shine.
Looking back the pictureâ€™s faded.
Most of life was somehow jaded.
Once in a while I see a glimmer,
Nine in all as I remember.
Pressing hard to find survival,
Every thing seemed a rival.
Times and places are sometimes scrambled.
Recollection is somewhat rambled.
But now and then I catch a memory
Of a bleak time, not just penury.
Although getting past was an endless struggle,
And pondering it long my mind would boggle.
Tomorrow did come, with Godâ€™s great blessing
In spite of hard times, need, and its dressing.
Our greatest Christmas was in forty-seven.
We were all together and it was like heaven.
Chicken and ham and lots of the other,
All of us seven and father and mother.
Our oldest sister and her husband
Brought their baby.
She was a treat
And I donâ€™t mean maybe.
Of that special time, I oft remember
I believe it was our best December.
Margaret Inez Bates