My father’s voice is in my head,

to scold or roar with laughter,

My mother’s sense of duty clings,

to do chores first, not after;

dishes always washed and dried,

the tablecloth was shaken,

the kitchen floor must be swept clean,

Tomorrow’s bread was baking;

Order, tidiness prevailed,

All things where they belonged

Children could be seen, not heard,

We all knew right from wrong,

Everyone had chores to do,

and there were no exceptions–

don’t even try to tell a lie,

My mom could smell deceptions.

My grandpa’s love of grapes and wine,

My grandma’s love of cooking,

And grandma loved to travel, too,

My mother was good looking;

One dressed in hose and hat and gloves

to make a trip downtown;

One always had a handkerchief,

Don’t touch things on the ground.

We all learned how to strive and be

the finest in our class,

In competitions always first–

or second, never last.

My father never took off work

Except to take vacations;

He loved to bowl in tournaments–

They filled him with elation.

He never owned a foreign car;

he always had a Chevie,

I never knew him to be sick,

His life was firm and steady.

These are the things we carry with us;

that mold and shape our souls.

All the pieces that define us and

help us reach our final goals.


Sandra Lee Smith

October 17, 2009

Updated July 12, 2018


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