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U3A Writing: Play it again Sam!

Vera Sanderson's poem tells of the price paid by a working mum.

Turn back the clock-oh! Turn back the clock
To still for all time its relentless tic-tock
To live in a world that was quiet and sane
To hold all my babes in my arms once again
To bathe them and hug them and put them to bed
And not have to work for the roof o'er their heads
To bake and to clean and to tend to their ills
To win their respect with my motherly skills
Not earning a living - adopting a pose
To keep upwardly mobile and live “a la mode”
And the price that I paid for their food and their clothes
Was the tears that I shed whilst out on the road
Buying and selling and flogging my brain
Day after day in the sun and the rain
Ankles like puddings all baked in the sun
Then staggering home with more work to be done
No wonder I could not be “she who was kind”
When I'd housework and shopwork and cash on my mind!
Days started at seven and finished at one
And the suffix was “A.M.” with more work to be done
Clothes pressed, nails varnished and powder the cracks
Flash on those “smiley teeth” no time to relax
And the glamour and glitter of five star hotels
Where the battle was won when the meeting went well
Or the fear and despair when they sent you to hell!
With the mortgage to pay and your wages to find
And your dear little children left far, far, behind
And those sweet trusting faces tormenting your mind
Then suddenly, gone.....

You are old, it is twilight, they've lives of their own
And the skills of a lifetime are wasted away
By the absence of sight and the signs of decay
You're confused and bewildered – your life's in reverse
Your heart's cold and empty – how full is your purse?
And the ones that you thought would be loyal and true
Are “busy” and awkward and have no time for you
And the ones that you thought you would lose and would fly
Are loving and kind and as straight as a die
And although your kin are decent and fair
And bend over backwards, they cannot be there
For you....

So turn back the clock, oh! Turn back the clock
Forever erase its eternal tic-tock
Give me time, yet more time and let me go back
To re-build my bridges and re-route my track
Turn back with its anguish, its stress and its pain
And let me live my life all over again!

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