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By JosieWhitehead

Lessons from the Past

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 




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