A Woman Of Her Times Poem by David Welch

A Woman Of Her Times

She was born as Holly Clarkson
in the year 1993,
and for most of her early days
she lived life uneventfully.

She grew up outside of London,
went to uni and married well,
had her first kid at twenty-six,
you would not think there's much to tell.

Then her family moved to Sheffield,
by the Peak District they settled down,
all was fine until one weekend,
on an outing in a small town.

Her husband was with their daughter,
she stopped off to see an old church,
left in ruins by King Henry,
such things had always spoke to her.

She took time to imagine,
run fingers over old stone,
loved that these ancient echoes were
just a few miles from her home…

Holly closed her eyes in wonder,
but when she opened them again,
she found the church was quite intact,
and she was surrounded by robed men.

In shock, Holly took off running,
and found herself in a dirt street,
saw men dressed in thick, woolen hosen,
horses with steel shoes on their feet.

They look at her, quite astonished,
and just shrugged when she tried to talk,
her words they could not understand,
in panic, she began to walk.

She barely recognized the land,
too few houses, so many trees…
just huts of wood and rough-cut stone,
no sign of electricity.

In panic she went for hours,
no sign of her family or kin,
until she collapsed in the rain,
and a lone farmer took her in.

She awoke in a small farmstead,
to a face she didn't recognize,
she freaked at first, and only stopped
at the kindness seen in his eyes.

When he spoke she could understand
maybe just one word out of three,
but after time she figured out
it was the year 1190.

At first she didn't believe it,
how could a soul travel through time?
How would these people believe it
when it seemed shocking to her mind?

The young farmer couldn't help her,
be believed her a foreign girl,
and gave her a place she could sleep
until she got back to her world.

Many times she went to that church,
touched the stones the way she once had,
but nothing worked and she realized
thing were looking increasingly bad.

Months went by and nothing happened,
she was trapped in the past, she feared,
alone, with no was to survive,
for her lost life she shed a tear.

But the reality was what it was,
she had too see the here and now,
so she married the young farmer,
though his family objected loud.

You see she was twenty-eight years,
rather old for back in that time,
but when she fell pregnant soon after
the objections seemed to subside.

It was no life she'd imagined,
but she had no other real choice,
and she did grow to care for him,
gave him ten little girls and boys.

Decades went by and she grew old,
little grandchildren came along,
and one day she took them to church,
they lifted their voices in song.

She closed her eyes to sing the hymn,
but then, when she reopened them,
the churck was in ruins around her,
she was in the present again.

In panic Holly staggered outside,
and saw her husband standing there,
would heaven recognize her
in her fifties with silver hair?

She stumbled forwards to meet him,
said, "Martin, it had been so long…"
He raised an eyebrow and said, "What?
I don't understand, were you gone? "

She could not comprehend at first,
until she looked down at her hands,
saw no wrinkles, no wear and tear,
just the skin of a young woman!

And when she saw he young daughter,
she struggled to know what to say,
she'd gone back and lived thirty years,
but hadn't aged a single day? !

It was the same time she had left,
all had happened in moments of time,
she was twenty-eighty years old again,
had all of this been in her mind?

For months after she thought of this,
convinced she was going insane,
but the memories of that life
were utterly real in her brain.

Was this some sort of past life thing?
Or some time-travel quantam deal?
How could you make up a whole life
that you could remember and feel?

The brain could do lots of weird stuff,
and what she had ‘lived' was absurd,
to prove this all she decided
to go see the old church records.

The oldest did go back that far,
and she figured that a quick look
would prove none of this had happened…
until she saw their names in the book!

Every child that she had born,
and the farmer that she had web,
even her own name and the date
that she was presumed to be dead!

But what could she do with this news,
what person would believe her tale?
She thought often on this question,
but she did so to no avail.

There was no answer that made sense,
so she tried to push to it away,
until she went to a coffee shop,
and walked out to Victorian days…

It has been fifteen years since then,
all the lives and families she's had,
my mother trusts me with all this,
but she had never told my dad.

I know because she introduced
a brother born in World War II,
that old mad had tears in his eyes
seeing his mom in the bloom of youth.

I've seen the DNA records,
her own mitochondrial trace,
showing she started her own line
all the way back in the Bronze Age!

How many siblings have I had,
"ninety-seven, " my mother informs,
she lectures on local history,
tells her ‘disguised' stories, and more.

The local history center
is thriving since she'd been employed,
her ‘tips' have led to ‘discoveries'
that leave scientists overjoyed.

How many more trips will she have,
I don't know, who can really say?
All I know, she's pregnant again,
dad's second, and mom's ninety-eighth.

Unnikrishnan E S 31 December 2021

Fantastic, really. Charming narrative. Enjoyed. Happy new year, dear poet

1 0 Reply
David Welch 01 January 2022

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!

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Kim Barney 31 December 2021

A fantastic tale! Loved it!

1 0 Reply
David Welch 01 January 2022

Thanks, man. Glad you liked it.

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