Don Stratford


Garden Fork Boogie - Poem by Don Stratford

In childhood days things they were tough, no money was to spare
We had to grow our fruit and vegies for all of us to share
And when things needed burning, no fancy fire place was there
It was a forty four with holes in it, so the fire could get some air

The garden fork took pride of place and was jammed into the ground
Right next to where it’s needed to stir the fire around
There was a nut that’s jammed on tight from many years before
It was on the right hand prong, up one third, or maybe even more

Now I went down this fateful night with mum to help her out
And after stirring up the fire she soon let out a shout
She had stuck the fork back in the ground and then just right on cue
The prong was now jammed thru her foot with the nut right thru her shoe

The boogie now it did take place because Mum just couldn’t move
We tried to ease the dammed thing but it was stuck right in the groove
Any movement of the fork at all was too painful for her to bear
The bloody thing was jammed so hard we had to take great care

How to try to ease a fork stuck thru foot and in the ground
We tried to wiggle it back and forth, but it was stuck real sound
Each time we moved it to and fro my Mum let out a moan
You could hear it tearing skin and muscle as well as bloody bone

I got a stick to try to lever under neath the outside edge
But nary a movement did I get I needed like a wedge
So to the shed I bounded for a shovel there to take
To slip under my Mothers foot to try to ease her ache

Slowly, slowly we did pry with shovel and the stick
With Mother groaning, moaning and making like she’s sick
Which did not at all surprise me given that her fate was so?
In trying to get the dammed fork out that’s jammed right near her toe

But try we might it wouldn’t budge, it really was that bad
It seemed at one stage she’d have to stay there, it was looking sad
You could hear the squishy, squelching as we tried to move that fork
As we tried to pull it from the ground and Mum, well she couldn’t talk

A miracle was now required, she’s too crook to go on now
Extract that dammed fork was our cry to get it out somehow
We prized in little fits and starts an hour or maybe more
Until it popped out with a squelch, relief was by the score

The problem then was one of what to do and how much we should care
You see the fork was still attached; her foot was hanging in the air
So like a crutch the fork was used, little movements were the go
As she leaned upon my shoulders but we had to go real slow

Hobbling slow and painfully we made it to the shed
Where mum had finally got to sit but she’d sooner have a bed
Off to the house I now did run to find the car keys on the hook
And raced back down to where Mum was, mate she was looking crook

How to get her to the Doctors now, she couldn’t drive at all
The car was but a manual and I had to help her, I recall
So on the floor between her legs a seven year old did sit
With mother shouting directions as though she’d had a fit

The clutch was hard to push right in and I was full of fear
I’d push it down with both hands now so mum could find a gear
“Slowly” she said “let it out” so we could back out of the shed
But I let it out now way too fast which was something that she dread

Many times we tried to move and many times we failed
Until co-ordination reigned and Mum let out a wail
of shear delight and hope a tunnel light to see
that to the Doctors we could go, relief for her and me

So while she steered the car around I was on the floor
Between her legs working pedals from directions by the score
Push slowly on the power one now and now push in the clutch
Which one is that please let me know, I don’t know all that much

So off we set with me now doing all the things Mum said
Push in clutch, now on the brake, and speed it up instead
But some how we did manage with pedal duty me
While Mum kept right on steering and moving gear stick on the tree

The Doctors we did finally make and then I raced inside
A panting and a puffing from excitement and of pride
in helping Mum to get unstuck and driving her just now
To get her to the help required but I really don’t know how

Mum got fixed that night, be sure, but many months went by
Before she was to gladly say she’s right now, with a sigh
And to this day some people ask about the missing prong
on our fork that’s still down by the drum to stir the fire along

Mum never talked about that night, not that I remember, so
But I’ll never forget the night we had when we were down real low
You don’t want many of them you see ‘cause it was not a goodie
The night my Mum and I did dance that painful “Garden Fork Boogie”


Don Stratford © 5 / 11 / 2006


Comments about Garden Fork Boogie by Don Stratford

  • (11/8/2006 3:05:00 AM)

    Oh, how I can sympathise with this one Don. I won't go into details though.
    Danny.
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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 6, 2010


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