Once Upon A Time—a poem about voices in your head

Once upon a time there were six little girls
(all my stories start that way)
and we all lived happily giggling and squabbling
and jumping and wriggling
and running wild and running free
or hiding away in a hedge or a tree.
And our Daddy David was a country vicar
and he always said “Be kind”
and he was kind, he was always kind.
Now from the grave our dear dead Daddy
still reminds us to be kind
and we try, we do our best, we try.
As for mother Celia, every day
she pushed us out the door and whispered
“Go on! Have an adventure! Go!”
and decades dead she still says that
and we obey, it’s easy, it’s OK.
Six old women on the same seesaw
have a primer for life with just two rules
one to be and one to do
and when things start getting out of whack
the sing-song say-so of our parents
can ease us up or down or back.
I need my mother, I need my father
I am my mother, I am my father now.

Buy the book that features this poem

12 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time—a poem about voices in your head

  1. colonialist says:

    Two good maxims, well-related.

  2. colonialist says:

    Two good maxims!

  3. colonialist says:

    (Excuse the hiccup – it seemed the comment hadn’t ‘taken’!)

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It happens. Now you see it, now you don’t.

  4. This is a lovely poem. Thank you.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hello Kay! I always like it when my poem rhymes with your own experience.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I enjoyed this episode which began with this poem.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks Elizabeth

  6. Su Leslie says:

    Two excellent rules, and so very different to the words and actions of my parents.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s though. Now I’m wondering what messages my own children will associate with me…

  7. lynmacgtn says:

    Rachel, I loved this episode and its poem. What wise parents you had. I was, of course, reminded of my own parents and the legacy of love, consistency, honesty and, yes, kindness they passed on to me and my siblings. We passed the same values onto our families and now we all see them being taught to our grandchildren too. So important, the messages that come from your past. Your episode reminded me to be grateful.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      This is privilege in its most benign form.

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