Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Poem a Day 27: Family History

Only once have I chipped ice
off the top of a pail
to get to the water beneath,
camped near the top of a mountain,
waking to snow on the ground,
a rough trail ahead.

My mother grew up in a logging camp,
back in the 1920's, apples saved
under the bed through winter.
She brought water to their cabin,
in heavy pails, snow or no snow.
Gramie cut their hair so they
almost looked like boys,
eased their cuts and bruises with
a home-made poultice, and cooked
venison over the fire, tasty when
you could get it. Grandad ran a crew
and cut logs wider than they were tall,
out in the wilderness. Only the railroad
linked them to town, that and trails
so remote, even a trackker could get lost,
and they did, get lost and somehow survive
until Grandad got a better job.
They moved to town, one of those
small cottages in a row, yes, 
a white picket fence in front
like I've dreamed of. All was well,
until my mother became beautiful.

Frances and Marion, Anderson Camp, 1928

Marion, Hollywood, 1941

Only three more days in this month-long poetry challenge. I must confess, writing a poem a day has not been easy, but still, starting most mornings by just reflecting, letting words and images bubble up has taken me in unexpected directions. Thank you for reading along. 


  1. I would have gotten along with Gramie, I think. I love to roast venison over a fire.

    Thank you for your prompt of "an alien who's on the run from an overlord race prepared to take over earth and who falls in love with a baker who just happens to be working undercover for the Dept of Homeland Security" during the Theme Reveal.
    Piers and O'tien made interesting characters in my story this month.

  2. Oh your word pictures speak of so much MORE than you put to paper! I love the imagery of the log that was "wider than they were tall." Your picture proves it! You leave this reader wanting MORE!