Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Good Old Days

The Good Old Days

In the good old days, everything was better.
Horse didn't emit carbon to pollute the fragrant air,
And scooping horse manure out of the street
Created jobs and fertilizer for our roses fair.
      …and after a while you got used to the smell of poop.

In the good old days, food was better.  
Lots of gravy, flour biscuits, beans and lard
And fruit in season before it rotted in the pantry
And under the porch, coated in lime – potatoes old and hard
      …except when you ran out and had no cash to go to town.

In the good old days, our kids were better.
Obeyed their parents, early to rise, early to sleep
You could still beat them black and blue when needed
And make them work the cotton fields to earn their keep
      …except the ones that ran off and took up train robbing.

In the good old days, people talked more.
Usually about the neighbors who were for Sunday dinner served.
Some called it gossip, but to us it was "human interest"
And always were family traditions carefully preserved
      …like incest, child abuse, drunkenness and wife-beating.

In the good old days, we lived to ripe old age
Growing old and wise in the bosom of our kin
We lived long and useful lives in health and vigor
Village elders were greatly respected way back then.
      …of course, most of us were dead by 40 or too senile to gripe 
                   about anything if we did live that long

Those romantic good old days, when romance reigned
A young man went to see her father and bargained for his bride.
And she belonged to him along with several dozen cattle
And she worked 18 hour days, no pay and nothing ever to decide
      …except whether or not smile and bow or take a beating.

Ah, the good old days, what thrilling times they were.
Life was brutish, cruel and short and evil men were bold.
It's funny how we forget that almost half of us as children then
Never managed to grow up, much less managed to grow old.
      …except if you were rich and managed not to ever get pneumonia, 
                   typhoid measles, mumps, Spanish flu or diphtheria….

© 2014 by Tom King

No comments:

Post a Comment