Monday, October 24, 2005

Original Song #7

My first-cousin, Sandra Langworth, would've been 42 today. She and her three younger sisters all died in a house fire a couple of days after Xmas, 1971. I was two and a half at the time. I grew up wondering what their lives might've been like if they'd had a chance to experience growing up themselves. Sandra, this is your song.


Sandra knows
What it’s like to be too tall
The girls all want you to fall
The boys never seem to call

Sandra sees
Better than you or me
She’s got a gift for make believe
And a dozen unrealized dreams

Daddy’s playing with the radio knob
Curses at the forecast of an early frost
Mummy’s cleaning up the kitchen herself
Guess it’s up to me to put the young ones to bed

Sandra sees
Mummy never gets any meat
Now Sandra always leaves half her piece
Even when she’s still hungry

Sandra dreams
Of going places she won't know
Like the coast of Mexico
Where the snakes all tickle her toes

And Daddy’s rolling more cigarettes
Smokes four in the time it takes him just to roll the rest
Mummy’s feeding all the calves herself
Guess it’s up to me to help milk the cows again

Sandra’s mad
She didn’t want to be this tall
It doesn’t mean she can keep her head
Above it all

Sandra reads
Any damn thing she can
If it’s a tragedy that’s fine
But when it’s sad she don’t cry
She won’t cry

- 30 -


Anonymous said...

It's very touching to read your tribute to Sandra who was only 8 at the time of her death. She forever remains locked into our minds as a sweet, innocent, yet capable child; the eldest of her family of sisters. You, Scott, have had the vision to protect that enduring image of a little girl, who took her responsiblities seriously. Her body was discovered in the burning embers of that house alongside her youngest sister who was only 22 months old. It was in the area of their parents' bedroom where they had likely sought escape from the dense smoke and flames.If only they had tried to exit the house....

Anonymous said...

...and Lucy (Sandra) was dead.
Difficult to comment, as I've never had the courage to face something like this head- on.
Let the Keatses do it. The Murrays?
Strength and courage.

Got your good advice on the other
matter, my technical problem. Have

Cathie from Canada said...

Sad -- this would have been a significant and never-forgotten tragedy too for your parents and all your other relatives. I hope they may find some comfort in your poetry.