Old Betty (my recollections)

On the block at Lyons Road a young woman did her best
Toiling beneath the sun working the copper with no rest
She crooned and boiled clothes for kids and did it all with zest
So when Old Joe returned from trapping there was nothing left to test?

She mended the clothes and knitted kept the house so well
Everything doused in disinfectant from the smell you could tell
Take your shoes off outside the door she’d often yell
If you come in and dirty my floors you’ll probably go to hell

In the weary weeks ahead she’d be left so alone
From a trapper who purported to love her only when he came home
He’d do the deed buy some feed pay the bills then roam
For poor lonely mother another seed was sown

The next child could be boy or girl in those days you never knew
Mum was pregnant every year after dad bloody passed through
So I remember neighbors often saying do not feel too blue
Betty if you needs us we’ll have the car ready for you

I don’t want charity was often her reply
But there were times as a little boy I often saw her cry
And when I’d ask Mum can I ask you why
The stern response to her son was please – don’t ever pry

It’s about as much as I can recall between Old Betty and me
I went to a boy’s home and for years I couldn’t see
My mother and my father and siblings – all free
In a big crazy loving family home I wish was once for me

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