Today I had another funeral to attend, that of my friend Rosemary, whom I have known for 30 years. She was older than me, and in indifferent health, and I’m going to miss our chats every Monday – I called Mondays “Old Lady Day”, but I never told her that!
She was of the generation brought up to be a good wife and mother, and that’s what she did – but she also nursed a rebellious spirit, and would have liked to kick over the traces a lot more than she did after her husband died, if only her health had been better. This poem is for her today -
Daddy’s little girl wears twinset and pearls;
She’s coy with the boys, and sweet with the girls;
She wouldn’t say ‘boo’, let alone ‘shit';
If a boy’s got clean nails, she won’t see he’s a twit;
Her room is all tidy, her clothes put away;
She’s polite to the guests, she has nothing to say;
At school, she’ll choose courses in cooking and cleaning,
She has no idea that that could be demeaning;
She has no ideas of her own, that’s her problem;
She does as expected in all situations;
But if she wakes up one day and thinks for herself,
She’ll tumble right down from her niche on the shelf,
And she’ll say what she thinks, and she’ll do what she wants,
And shock her old daddy with the force of her thoughts.
She won’t any longer be his sweet little girl,
She’ll be something much better – HerSelf – after all!
We had a long drive home yesterday, stopping over in Ballarat for a Grill’d burger for tea. By the time we set off again, the sun had gone, leaving a clear, beautiful twilight, which I enjoyed photographing from the back seat as we drove along. The photo above the poem is of a passing truck. One has so little control over pictures taken this way, and some are undoubtedly duds – but every now and then…magic!
I wrote this poem after my husband made a remark about “Daddy’s little girl ain’t a girl no more”* as if that was inherently a bad thing, and I didn’t agree.
* Lyric from Nirvana’s Negative Creep – a song which a person of my age and gender isn’t supposed to like, and yet I do…