Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wagon Wheels

                   Hallowed scenes from yesterday
                   Keep passing through my mind
                   Of wagon wheels and their old-time way
                   And the tales they left behind

                   As silent today as they may be
                   I still hear the creaking sound
                   Echoes linger so pleasantly
                   On every road I travel down

                   Hauling supplies was a necessity
                   And hauling crops even more
                   The old wagons came in handy
                   For any and every chore

                   Patience became a virtue
                   It was the only way around
                   With every mile the journey grew
                   It became an all day trip to town

                  When church bells did ring
                  The old wagons continued to steer
                  Each family they would bring
                  As they traveled far and near

                  The old wagon wheels kept turning
                  For many a dusty mile
                  When progress started churning
                  They quietly went out of style

                  It was a very different time
                  When wagons were at their best
                  The were truly one of a kind
                  Now they deserve a rest

                 Those grand old wagon wheels
                 Surely holds the key
                 Down country roads and hills
                 Locked forever in our memory

I was inspired to write this poem in memory of my Dad. He was born in 1904 and died in 1998.  Although he wasn't highly educated, he was a wealth of knowledge, like an open history book. He told while growing up there wasn't any other way to travel besides walking, but by wagons. He and his dad would drive an old wagon to town for supplies and it would take the whole day just to get there and back. People would depend on those old wagons to take them everywhere. But as the years passed and a few vehicles came along, my dad would walk to town, or at least start out walking. When he got to the main road someone would always come along and pick him up. It was always someone he knew, because everybody knew everybody else. My dad was no exception. It seemed everyone knew daddy, and the ones that didn't know him got to know him really fast. He never met a stranger. He told how he walked to work and left out really early in the morning and never got back home until late in the night. He never made much money, but back then it seemed to be enough to get by with. He worked hard all of his life for very little money, and away from home after he and mama married and us kids came along. He worked on road construction and there were times he couldn't make it home for two or three weeks. We sure were glad to see him when he did make it in home, except for the ones that were promised a whipping with good reason of course.

 I could write all day about the things my dad has told over the years and how things were so different in his life-time but I'll stop for now with this one verse from "Wagon Wheels".  I think this verse was meant for him as well..                   It was a very different time
                               When daddy was at his best
                                He was truly one of a kind
                                Now he deserves a rest

And with that I'll only say ...Thank you Daddy for teaching me the history lessons, and what a great history teacher you were..  Poem Published April 2010   Susie Swanson


  1. Lovely poem, Susie. It is very picturesque and peaceful. It is also a lovely tribute to your Dad. Have a nice Sunday. :)

  2. I love your poem Susie, as I was reading it I felt like I was truly being pulled back in time, into a very different and slower world. We lived in Switzerland for a year once, and our apartment was surrounded by the Black Forrest. I used to go for long, long walks, and found many wagon and cart trails that wove through the trees leading from village to village. The trails were carved into the land from centuries of use. Your father sounded like a wonderful neighbor and friend to all. People like that are a treasure. Have a nice sunday! Delisa :)

  3. Thank you Daisy and Delisa For the nice words. This poem means alot to me. When I was writing it, it really pulled me back into time, but I didn't have far to go, remembering what he told me is all it took. It may sound strange to some but I felt as if he was there the whole time beside me. I love writing about the past and it seems I never have to go far to find it. Thanks again, hope you both have a nice Sunday, Susie

  4. Enjoyed the poem and enjoyed seeing the pic of the wagon wheel. So many lovely stories our elders could tell. I'm sorry I didn't spend more time with my mom just talking. She told me so much history but then again, I want more now and it's too late.
    God bless.

  5. Thank you Barb. I know what you mean, I wish I could have had more time with them too but we can't bring it back so we'll remember what we can and go on. God Bless you!

  6. Smiles...Lovely poem Susie...
    ♥ ஆεlεɳa ~.^

  7. Cherish those wagon wheel days...your dad must have been a lovely man.

  8. Thank you Helena and lorely. He surely was and I still miss him so much.

  9. Susie, that is fabulous!!! The older I get, the more interested I am in my ancestors. My Dad was born in 1889 and died in 1969. Mom was born in 1900 and died in 1991. My parents were like your Dad. They worked hard --and never asked for a dime from anyone. They never had much --but were such 'good' people and very proud.

    I wish today's generation were more like them. People today don't seem to want to work --yet they feel entitled when it comes to handouts... Why have things changed so much?????

    Your Dad was a fantastic man --and obviously a good role model for you and the family..

    God Bless.

  10. Thank you Betsy I agree with you. People back then worked hard, that's all they ever knew and for very little. Today's generation has had it so easy, they think it suppose to be given to them. I wonder sometimes what will become of them in the future when all of the older generation is gone. I may offend some but that's just the way I feel. Thank you for the nice words and I hope you have a nice day. Susie

  11. Susie, yu are such a great writer, so many lines in this are so great ! I really like the story behind it all !! Wonderful !

  12. Thank you JL, I appreciate that. I really love yours, as the old saying goes... can't beat it with a stick. Hahaha..

  13. Isn't it interesting how we can summon up the sound of those wagon wheels in our minds when we see images of them, they're so nostalgic. What a nice tribute to the past, and to your father too :)

  14. I really enjoyed the poem, Susie. It takes you back to a time now gone by.

  15. Thank you Joanne and Janet, Yes those old wagons may be gone but if we look close enough we might still be able to find the roads they traveled. There's one that my dad pointed out to me that's very close to my house.

  16. love the poem, brings back memories of my daddy. he was born in 1913 and died in 2006. my favorite thing to do as a child was sit in the circle of him and his 4 brothers and listen to their stories. daddy had 4 brothers and 2 sisters, all of them are deceased, i still miss them all and their storys
    thanks for stopping by my post

  17. Thank you Sandra. That was my favorite time too. Sitting and listening to those stories, Thank you for stopping by and I love your post.

  18. *gulp* (HUGE lump in my throat)
    This was beautiful beyond words, Susie.

  19. Susie,
    I loved this poem, the photo, and touching essay about your father. What a marvelous way to remember him. He sounds a lot like my own daddy. This was a wonderful posting and I enjoyed it very much.

  20. Thank you Paula and Brenda, that means so much to me. Glad you both enjoyed it. Brenda I 'm sure you have already read it in my book. I just had to post it because it was one of my favorites. Brenda, when you get the time I would appreciate you reading the one below it "Ties That Bind" and tell me what you think. I regard your opinion highly! It's one of my latest. Thanks again to you both! Susie

  21. I loved the poem on the wagaon wheel. I felt transported into time. How wonderful taht you dad told you wonderful stories of days gone by. Such rich history is lost unless we share it and pass it on.
    Thank you

  22. Your prose is even better than your poetry!

  23. I really felt this one, Country Side Susie.