Kissing Home Goodbye

My grandfather, before I was born
As a teenager went off to war
He left his life in South Africa
Kissed his home and parents farewell

Captured, became a prisoner of war
Worked in fields under fear of death
(Would never deny another a morsel of bread
Because he knew what hunger would mean)

In time, an end was declared
Waiting game had to be endured
To be transported across the seas
Back home to family and peace

He met my grandmother
In Scotland while he had time
Back home they began to write
Until he requested her delicate hand

Her parents agreed
Back on a ship he returned
They wed in Scotland, and he took her away
He twenty-seven and she nineteen

My mother was born
In the Cape of Africa with a view
Of Table Mountain standing tall
A formidable witness for all

My father lived in another place
And as with my mother’s mother before
Her parents acquiesced with his request
For her to be wed, and to be taken away

I was born in Johannesburg
Which is another story to tell
I grew up in Africa
Was blessed by the land

Like my grandmother did so many years ago
And then my mother followed suit
I kissed my homeland and family goodbye
And started a life somewhere new

Cape Town images courtesy Ali McGill Photography

28 thoughts on “Kissing Home Goodbye

    1. Yes, my grandmother went back to Scotland with her three children when my mother was nine. She stayed for nine months (my grandfather to follow), but changed her mind and returned to Cape Town where she remained. I moved away seven years ago, it is terrible at times to be so far away from family.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Oops, hit send by accident lol…2 years ago it was like moving to another country! 5 hour time difference no family to visit, I couldn’t continue we moved back home to Toronto. We’re originally from the East coast, Nova Scotia so much of our family remains there. But they are not so far away now ☺

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    1. That’s good to hear – FB makes the world a tiny bit smaller, but what really pains is being away from my two beautiful nieces and sister and Dad. It really is like dying, and being reborn in a new place. Life as I knew it came to an abrupt end. I’m sure anyone who has relocated can relate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes…FB is wonderful for being able to see as well as read ☺ leaving NS in 2010 was the hardest move I’ve made, leaving my Dad taking his 18 mth old granddaughter away…he died a year and a half later. Sigh…sometimes I wish we hadn’t left so we could have that time back. The amazing thing about his character is, he knew he was sick when we moved but didn’t tell me…he knew I would not leave if I knew. Breaks my heart.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for sharing. I often wish wordpress had another button instead of Like, whenever I read something touching like this I don’t want to press the Like button – rather an empathising type of button like a heart instead a like. So sad that you missed out on that time. We had something similar with my mother-in-law, she spent the first Christmas with us in Sydney and after she got back home was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away the following May. We missed seeing her by a day as we arrived on the Saturday and she passed on the Friday. So sad. Thank you for sharing too, and for all your kind comments. I really appreciate it xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree a heart button would suit better for times like these…now I’m sorry for your loss…brought tears. I was lucky indeed I had 2 days with Dad (he had a brain aneurysm, massive stroke in surgery) in hospital before we let him go. Could never regret this time I had with him…peaceful abiding by his bed through the night I hung white xmas lights to banish the dark heal the fluorescents…holding his hand, talking, singing, sobbing quietly, sitting in shock…he knew I was there all that matters is he was present at my birth and I for his passing to the next adventure. Wow. Feels good to talk about him. Never a day goes by xxoo


      1. I have a Beloved Country post that I introduce in the last section, I was tempted to post that, but it has pride of place in my book (I’m trying as best I can to keep blog poetry and book poetry separate), so decided to write a new piece. Having said that though, I had a bit of scope creep and now a few of the blog entries have found their way into my book. I’m on a 100 pages now, so that’s a wrap. It’s been drop boxed and I have nothing further to do, but say whether I like the design or not 🙂


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