It was all written in a diary*,

the one my mother kept,

And as I read the pages,

My eyes filled and I wept;

She wrote about her hopes and dreams,

The journeys she would take,

The men with whom she’d fall in love,

The hearts that she would break.

She wrote about the things she’d learn,

The scholar she would be,

She thought she’d go  away to school,

She thought that she’d be free–

Free from all the mundane things,

of working on a farm

Under her strict father’s rule;

She wrote she knew her time would come,

And she would surely soar,

Far from her parents bitter reins,

a farmer girl no more.

Why, then, I wondered as tears fell,

She had married a farmer’s son,

And went from one strict rule to his,

Her dreams all left undone.

She never went away to school,

Neither traveled nor she soared–

Just to church on every Sunday,

Or to the local grocery store;

Her diary writes about my birth

with just a single line;

A girl like me was born today;

the baby’s doing fine.


Sandra Lee Smith

May 11, 2009

*It occurred to me that I have several posts  on

my blog that have to do with diaries.  I added “Farm

Girl’ to this title just to make is clear that the poems

having to do with a diary are unrelated.  I guess

I have used this topic more than once because I

kept diaries myself, for many years, starting in 1953

when I was thirteen years old. I kept the “page a day”

diaries until I graduated from high school and then

began keeping journals (like steno notebooks) when

I was pregnant with my oldest son, Michael.  Anne

Frank certainly influenced me. – sls


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