Childhood

Childhood.
I read, in a newspaper, with following black white & photo
of children used as slave labourers many years ago, I was
one of them, but I didn't share the misery described.
I was sat with my little suitcase on a bus that trundled through
a flat landscape, told to sit there until a man called my name.
It was a small farm and the farmer's wife gave me a thick slice
of bread with strawberry jam on. Then I was shown my room
a tiny loft span with straw mattress and it was bitterly cold.
I started work at six next morning, with a glass of milk and
a slice of bread, my job was to muck out the cows shed shuffle
the residue down a hole in the wall, the manure was later used
fertilise the land. School was every other day and a bit bothersome
till I hit one of my torments with a brick over his head and poise
of fear was restored. I quickly got the hang on the farm work,
got on well with the farmer and was spared the dirtiest work.
Years I spent on the farm, but then my mother came home from
sanatorium I wanted to be near her; apparently it was not legal
to just leave like that but I left anyway. One day many years later,
feeling nostalgic I went back to the farm, it wasn't there anymore,
had been turned into a housing estate. Poverty, struggle, need and
were all forgotten incidental as life itself, but I owe it to them,
after me there will be no one left to tell the story

by Oskar Hansen

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