By Josie Whitehead
LESSONS FROM THE PAST
By Josie Whitehead
Many children in the forties
Saw their parents go to war,
Because things that happened in our world
We couldn’t just ignore.
We’d no money in our pockets,
Little food upon our plates,
So we couldn’t pick and choose our meals,
But everything we ate.
There were very many people
With no bathroom in their home
And how do you think we managed
Without the telephone?
The books we had were luxuries
And parents made our toys.
The computer came upon the scene
For future girls and boys.
If your family had a garden
They grew vegetables to eat.
In the war years there was rationing -
We seldom had some sweets.
Our mothers made the clothes we wore
And cooked the meals we ate
And we couldn’t leave the table
Leaving food upon our plate.
We shared our books with others
And they also shared with us.
We walked to where we had to go
Or sometimes went by bus.
Some pram wheels with a box
On top gave many hours of fun
And we seldom spent our days inside
But played out in the sun.
Then without the television
We’d invent some games to play,
Or we’d safely meet up with our friends
And wander round all day.
Another thing which happened,
That I know you won’t think 'cool' -
Many teachers used to cane us
If we misbehaved at school.
Our homes were never burgled -
There was nothing much to steal!!
And we shared whatever food we grew
With neighbours for a meal.
We knew those in our village -
People seldom moved away.
We were confident these kindly folk
Were in our lives to stay.
City children weren’t so lucky.
They were moved away from home,
But discovered in the country
Lots of space in which to roam.
Both at home and in our Sunday schools,
We learnt to love and care
And we understood that things we had
Were meant for us to share.
Do you think that modern children
Could learn lessons from the past?
Or perhaps you think, as I do,
That the world has changed too fast.
What lessons do you think we could
Be learning from this age?
Well, take a piece of paper home
And try to fill the page.
Copyright on all my poems
This popular poem was one of almost 400 chosen by teachers and children for publication in my book: "Reflections" which was published in 2010 by AMS Educational Publishers, Leeds. I hope you like it also. Josie