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Poetry Pleases: Sentiment

Elizabeth Thompson tells of Uncle Bert, a man with a senimental attachment to his posessions.

Visit Elizabeth's Web site lizthompson.blogspot.com

We had an uncle, Bert by name, who lived out Toolleen way.
A big bloke, with greasy hair, a steely kind of grey.
His smile was wide and showed his teeth, the last remaining pair.
His speech was slow, and words were few, but we could get the gist.
“That’s sentiment.” He’d nod in thought “Sentiment” He’d lisp.

His parents' tiny home leaned beside a large gum tree.
“Pull it down Bert, clear it up.” The relatives would plea.
Across the broken memories he’d cast a sombre gaze and
Shake his head, as a mist would cloud his red and rheumy eyes.
“Oh no.” he’d say. “That’s sentiment” and heave some heavy sighs.

In paddocks round the house lay the family’s pioneer past.
Wooden carts and drays, which no longer had a task.
They sat in rain or baking sun, crumbling into dust.
“You could sell them Bert and make a buck. You know they can’t be used.”
“Ah no, their sentiment.” He’d sigh. “Sentiment.” He’d muse.

The woolshed his great grandpa built was sinking to the ground.
But still inside its walls his wool-clip could be found
Piled high up to the rusting roof, in jumbled bales it stood.
“A fire could wipe it out Bert.” His answer would astound.
“Why those sheds is sentiment.” He said “Sentiment!” He frown.

He wore a hat, a battered thing, the wind whipped from his head.
It flew into his harvester and stopped the damned thing dead.
Ever frugal, not caring it no longer cast some shade,
He rescued the remains, and while he clamped it on his head.
Muttered. “That’s sentiment that hat! Sentiment.” He said.

In great grandpa’s shed he kept a ‘Jag’ only taken out for best.
Off to town he’d drive, real slow, wearing his Sunday vest.
One day he stopped and helped a sickly, dying ewe.
So in the boot she went where she lay, for a day…….or two.
“Oh… that’s sentiment.” He mourned his loss. ”Sentiment…. Oh Pooh”

Bert grew old and frail. He knew his days were few.
He would not go hospital and leave the only place he knew.
The ‘city’ he had shunned, and crowds and people too
“I want to die in my own bed, the bed where my parents lay.
“That’s sentiment.” He smiled. The last thing he would say.

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