Daleen Enslinstrydom

(25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)

Jewel of my childhood


There was a time in my life
when I was just a child
and we lived in a small community
in the mountains of the Marico district
in the Northern Transvaal.

It was a small isolated village
with decent people
and the school master
was a person that we had
a lot of respect for.

We were only fifty children in the school
but he made us all feel special
and in the afternoons
he played cricket
with all of the children
in the community
on his own back lawn

and this was a God fearing community
and the local church
was always full on a Sunday
and all the surrounding farmers
came together on a Friday night
for prayer meeting

and uncle Sakkie Deisel played his guitar
with his one stiff leg lifted upon a chair
and we sang gospel songs
and there was a small farmer’s shop
where you could buy
almost anything that you needed
and fresh bread was available daily
if you came early

and there was fuel, paraffin, diesoline
and lamp oil available
and liquorice and all kinds of sweets
behind the glass counter
and clothes and jam
and fruit and potatoes
and maize and maize seed
and cattle feed

and your mail
and all of this
you could buy on credit
to be paid
at the end of the month

and there was a mill at the stream
and all of the houses were painted white
and had red tin roofs
and their gardens were lovely
and everybody acted so neighbourly

but with time the hourglass ran out
and that little community did die
and the school and the church
did close their doors
and the mill stopped milling
and the houses are now empty
and dilapidated
and the gardens are overgrown with weed

and all of the water wells did dry up
and the roads are covered with grass
and the old folks are buried
and the young ones did move away
and only those with courage did stay

and I look at the mill at the cliff
and a longing came into my heart
and I look back forty years
and see us playing as children
in the stream
that made the wheel of the mill turn

but now the wheel of time has stopped
and I do wonder why?

Submitted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Edited: Thursday, July 25, 2013

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Comments about this poem (Jewel of my childhood by Daleen Enslinstrydom )

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  • Rookie - 622 Points Dave Walker (7/25/2013 3:26:00 AM)

    A great poem, it's sad when something that gives us such
    good memories disappears. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,932 Points Khairul Ahsan (7/25/2013 3:16:00 AM)

    It's such a wonderful poem! Took me down the memory lane. You have painted such a lively portrait of your childhood, that took me to mine as well and I saw similar things. Feeling nostalgic of those golden days! (Report) Reply

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