… for those people, that generation, who “made do”
Tonight, after dinner, instead of wasting the rice,
scraping it into the sink,
my grandmothers’ refrain echos: “waste not, want not.”
Google a recipe for rice pudding.
As I wait and stir, exactly as it read “continually”
for the milk and eggs to “set up.”
Deep down sadness seeps into me
for the loss
of all those people, that generation, who “made do”
with whatever was leftover: meat pies, bread pudding and soup…
Who waited for the bread to rise, for their boys
to come home from the war.
A letter to arrive.
They're nearly all gone.
The men who got up in the dark
to walk, to listen, to pace, and to wait
for the right shot for duck or deer. No neatly covered meat
with plastic on top.
They're gone and with them: forbearance.
That is a loss for our children’s children. We cannot recover it
in our microwave, cell phone, instantaneous, breakneck speed
all of a sudden world.
I treasure letters dating back to 1918.
My grandmother’s journals, all in pencil,
when perfect penmanship meant something.
What will we leave when we are gone, if no one writes tangible letters?
Everything lost in the Ethernet and the storytellers disappear.
Empty, shortsighted impatient people. No past to enrich their lives.
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang it:
Teach Your Children Well