The Freeware Hall Of Fame (sm)


Backpacking Through Hell
A memorial to mom and dad
Copyright 1993 Rey Barry

It used to be that every year was better than before,
The baby walked where once he used to crawl across the floor.

He started school and swelled with pride as curiosity burned,
He learned to count, he learned to read, and praise was often earned,

Each year brought new delights; a child's mind began to fill,
A dozen years went by each going steadily uphill.

Then came the teen-age years and though no one was at fault,
The cheery child you used to know came to a grinding halt.

"My room's too small, my bed's too big, my clothes are a disgrace,
My bed's too small, my room's to big, this town's a rotten place."

His hair turns green, his hair turns blue, he never locks a door,
A phone grows where a hand once was, his closet is the floor.

"Why can't we have a house like Jim's with all those swings and stuff?
I can't go steady? Are you for real? 13's not old enough?"

He strives to get it all at once, convinced beyond a doubt
No one who came before him has a clue what life's about.

The playmates from the world outside are all-important now,
The only circle of acceptance that his values will allow.

He talks to family now and then, alert for just a minute,
His body is home for room and board, but he is seldom in it.

The first time this all happens it comes as quite a shock
Unless we happen to remember back when we lived that epoch,

It was different then, we like to think, we didn't go this far.
Maybe so and maybe not; it depends on who we are.

Each generation sees more change, the one before saw less,
The only thing eternal is the generation stress.

When this backpacking through hell is done only then we'll know
Whether what we said and did helped or hindered them to grow.

If they come home, did we do right? If not, did we do wrong?
That's not what we were aiming for. We simply want them strong.

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