Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Poems: "A Childhood Diary" - by Bonnie Buckley Maldonado

1941 - 1942

I formed words
in careful script
in my new leather diary:

Mama's baby died.
We had to leave the ranch.
Army worms ate the garden.

Daddy has to work in the oilfield.
President Roosevelt was
on the radio.
No valentines to give;
there is a war.

Mama and I cleaned
the teacherage,
one room with a milk can
of water for the new teacher.
School starts March 17 and
ends before Christmas
when the roads get bad.
It used to be the Buckley School,
now it is the Oilfield School.

I help Daddy count
ration stamps
for the gasoline he sells.

We listen to chimes
on the radio for the New Year.
They are in New York.

Everyone waits
for the war to end.
Its name is World War II.

* * * * *

Bonnie was born into the ranching lives of her pioneer grandparents and parents in Northern Montana. Married as a teen, she later completed two college degrees as a single mother - working as a waitress, a ranch cook, and chauffeur - before spending thirty years as a college teacher and administrator.

"A Childhood Diary" was published in her 2006 collection, From the Marias River to the North Pole.

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