IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER
By Josie Whitehead
My mother was born in Winterslow, Wiltshire in 1910 and she was the eldest daughter of 7 daughters. She died in January 1991 and I inherited boxes of old letters etc that she had kept. Today (September 2017 I discovered a treasure. I know Mum liked poetry but I didn't know that she ever wrote any but I'll put this on here for you all to see. It is a little poem that she wrote when, later in her life, she returned to the village that she loved so much and had so many memories - Winterslow. I hope you like it, and if you go to Winterslow churchyard (the church on the hill in flat Wiltshire), you'll see her little grave. Put a few flowers on her grave with my love. I live so far away from there, in Yorkshire in the north of England now. God bless you Mum. Josie
TO MY BIRTHPLACE
(Near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England)
To our sweet little village today I returned.
For many years, just for this I have yearned.
There are houses now where we used to play -
The trees and the bushes all bulldozed away.
The shop at the corner is still standing there,
But there's no Bob Horner with greying hair.
Instead there's a youngster in faded blue jeans
Selling sweets and groceries and lovely ice cream.
As I wander on, what a joy now to see
The old blacksmith's shop and the ancient oak tree
Where we children would play out in the fresh air.
Look! My dear Granny's cottage is still standing there.
We walked in the woods where the hazel nuts grew
And sat on the stile to admire the good view,
And we ran through the fields in joyous delight
Where we laughed and we played from morning till night.
The cottage is still there. It's where I was born -
And the church on the hilltop, by long fields of corn - - -
And I let a few tears from my eyelids now flow
For those sweet, carefree days of so long, long ago.
Copyright on this poem
My mother would have been very surprised, I think, to know that I had written so many poems for you all because whilst she lived I only ever wrote one poem: "My Garden" for the secondary school magazine, when I was 11 years of age. Josie