Daleen Enslinstrydom (25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)
The sun was barely up in mornings
and we were already up and living.
Every moment was precious.
Growing up fifty years ago
was so much easier than today.
There was no pressure
and life was still fun.
We had time to play
and getting up to mischief.
Neither the cold
nor the scorching sun
could keep us indoors.
We did pinch the neighbour’s fruit
although our trees were hanging full,
just for the excitement of it.
Once a month they played a cowboy movie
at the school hall
and for days after that
we would play cowboys and crooks
and climb into the trees
and swim in the muddy dam
and play clay-stick.
The house was a place
that we did only visited at meals.
Our inner thighs were raw
from riding horses and donkeys bareback.
Feeding the orphan lambs
and going to the field with grandpa
to pick walnuts
so that grandma could make pies
were some of the highlights of our days.
In summer we would roam the hillocks
for treasured wild-fruit
and the soles of our feet was hard
from continuously walking barefoot
as shoes were only to be worn
to school and church
but we had our chores that had to be done
and we knew the consequences that would follow
if we did not follow through.
At night we listened to the radio
and we associated with the characters.
In some way I think that we were a little wild
and the general store was something
that we would visit once a month
and we would be taken there
on the back of our pickup truck
as a jolly joyride.
When the provisions were bought
we were very happy
to get a hand full of Wilson toffees
and small things had great value to us.
Today I wonder if my grandchildren
would have survived growing up like us?
I do think that we would not fit in,
growing up like kids do today.
Comments about this poem (Growing Up by Daleen Enslinstrydom )
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