The Old Wood Stove

A poem by Nola Gregory, WA

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She was standing in the kitchen
And all the doors were shut
She put some wood in the fireplace
And stoked the fire up

The stove was old and well-worn
The years had taken their toll
But still she used it now and then
When the mornings were dark and cold

The old wood stove was just the best
On mornings such as these
When bedrooms were dark and cold
The kitchen was certain to please

Each morning she would rise at dawn
In the cupboards she would forage
On top of the stove was a big pot
And she would fill it right up with porridge

Into the rooms she would gently pad
And wake us one by one
We rose from our beds all shivering
Winter mornings were no fun

But once we got to the kitchen
To the fireplace we were drawn
We placed our bread on roasting forks
Which we toasted by the fire's warmth

My treasure trove of memories
held deeply within my soul
They are my constant reminder
Of precious days of old

These are keepsakes dear to me
Of a humble family home
A mother and a father
Whom each day would set the tone.

Here is some background to the poem Nola offered that helps you add more details to the picture in your mind:

"[The poem] tells the story of my mother and how she would rise before dawn in our humble Homes West house which had both an electric stove and old wood stove. How she would light it every winter morning, with wood chopped by my father and stacked in front of the old stove, and close all the doors to the kitchen.

She would get the kitchen all cosy and warm then wake us up one by one to go for breakfast, and the best memory of all was toasting the bread in front of the old wood stove. The taste was just so different to how bread is toasted these days. She even used to make tea from proper tea leafs, not the tea bags."

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[1] Homes West is a public housing company.

Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, The Old Wood Stove, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/the-old-wood-stove>, retrieved 14 July 2024

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