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U3A Writing: Grandpa's Chaffbag Chair

Merle Parkin paints a portrait of rural life in one short poem.

When Grandpa cleared his square-mile lot to grow potatoes way down there,
He captured rabbits for the pot, and cut a branch to build a chair.
Twas like a large inverted Y, two legs that rested on the mat,
The stem against the wall and high, a branch where he could hang his hat.

Two crossbars on the sloping fork, a chaff bag fastened fore and aft,
A place where he could sit and talk to Gran after a day of graft.
Grandma saved the feathers when they ate a wild duck Grandpa snared,
Or happenstance they ate a hen - to make a cushion, for she cared.

A sugar bag she cut to size, embroidered it with coloured thread,
For Grandpa's seat, and bless her eyes, another cushion for his head.
All through the long years Grandpa sat and watched while Grandma cooked his meat,
His tired feet warm on the mat, a cushion 'neath his weary seat.

A rude cross stands on yonder hill where Grandpa rests from years of toil,
Above his grave the wild birds trill. No more he'll till his much-loved soil.
Within the slab hut, worn and thin, she's served her man; she's kept her vow,
Old Grandma sports a cheeky grin - it's her turn for the cushion now!


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