Mandy Baldwin

Rookie (London)

Heritage - Poem by Mandy Baldwin

We, the survivors, salute you.
We stand, divided by the miles, having lived through half a century
Seen unimaginable changes, feared many which have never happened
Been taken unawares by others.
Our worlds have been shattered. Our hearts have been broken.
Our minds have cracked and reformed.

We have buried our loved ones, and nurtured our babies.
We have boldly danced down aisles in all good faith
Then bitterly wept as the papers were torn up
Yet we have loved again.

We have grown fat, then slimmed down.
We have experimented with every passing fashion.
We have tolerated then learned to love
The lines which cross our faces

No longer pristine, but written on so well.

We have accepted that once, we were mocked for being young
And now, without ever having been just the right age
We are mocked for being too old.

We saw our skills degraded. We saw our beliefs discarded. And yet still we stand, ready to learn more; ready to help you along the path
The path which, somehow, it seems we laid for you
While we were busy struggling to pay our mortgages.

We know something of what you will face tomorrow
We have walked a part of the road.
We love you dearly, not because you are our children
But because your future mirrors our past.
And because we know.

Be brave and loving. (And remember, the latter is no use without the former.)
Go on now, start walking! and know we are behind you.
And tell your children about us, as we have taught you the past.
You'll never know what we live through.
Take up the torch.
We, the survivors, salute you.

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 29, 2011

Poem Edited: Saturday, October 29, 2011

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