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Great Granny Barker

I can only have been four or five
When Great Granny Barker died.
I couldn't bring myself to kiss her
No matter how I tried
For, laid out in that great bed
Somehow shrunken and small
That cold white still figure
Just wasn't Great Granny at all.

Always dressed in dark clothes
Sitting in her rocking chair
The living room seemed empty
With her now not being there.
From a time of spare the rod
And spoil the child,
From the example of my brother
More than just a little wild,

She'd  cut a stern figure with
The dreaded nine tailed  strap,
Humiliation rather than pain
For she only gave a gentle tap.
I see her looking from a photo
Through the finger printed glass
And Family history tells me
She'd been a bit of a lass,

And I remember her voice
When from play she called me in
And sometimes I remember
She'd have a slyly wicked grin
And somehow i knew although
Not always doing  as I was  told
Inside that stern old lady
There beat a heart of gold.

That old chair would creak
As she gently rocked away
From the depths of my mind
I see her clearly to this day.
I am the last of my generation
And when I too am gone
Will that same old photo
Help her memory to live on.

Or will she be just an old lady
From a late father's photo hoard
To be glanced through by children
To try stop them being bored.
Now I am the granddad and treat
My grandchildren with love and care
And in my heart beats the hope
I'll be remembered as fondly as her.

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