Writing runs in our family. When I went to England in the 60s, my mother (Pat) sent me this poem, one of several she wrote over the years.
Fred was my first and much beloved cat, discovered at the back door one morning when I was still a child. Once she got her residential approval (took about two minutes) she made herself at home. She died before I returned to New Zealand in 1974.
Stanley St was my home address in New Zealand.
Michael’s gone to London
And things are rather flat
At number 7 Stanley St,
With only Fred and Pat.
Fred was looking rather glum
On Friday, when Pat came home:
“What have you done with Mike?” she said.
“Mike’s on his way to Rome.”
“To Rome,” said Fred in great surprise,
“Is it just a port of call?
Or is he wishing with coins in a fountain,
Or perhaps tete-a-tete-ing with Paul.”*
“No, Michael’s going to London, Fred,
Not to see the Queen
But to do the things he’s longed to do
Since he was about sixteen.”
“Michael’s going to London!” said Fred,
“Well, what do you know about that.
He might have taken me with him,
Like Whittington took his cat.”
“You’d leave your home in Stanley St?
Oh, Fred, you wouldn’t, I bet.
You wouldn’t be game to go with Mike,
To London, and on a jet.”
“Oh, well, if you put it like that,” said Fred,
“Maybe I wouldn’t be game.
But I miss him so, and I’d like him to know
That I love him just the same.”
“Well, I can tell him, Fred,” said Pat,
“Next time I write a letter.”
“Oh, good,” said Fred, “that’s an idea.
Already I’m feeling much better.”
So here’s a note from Fred and Pat
To Mike, with all our love.
We wish his days to be filled with joy
And will ask the Lord above
To bless, protect and guard him
Every day of every year,
And to give him great contentment
While he is over there.
*Probably Pope Paul.