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The Auction Sale

Alberta Prime Times reader Rose Carolyn Johnson has donated copies of Through Rose Coloured Glasses (a collection of her poems, now in its 5th printing) to raise funds for Edmonton's Shepherd's Place.
Edmonton senior Rose C. Johnson writes poems about her decades raising children and farming in Alberta. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

The Auction Sale

Another "Auction Sale" today--

This time for neighbours not far away.

The auctioneer's voice booming out loud, 

Searching and taunting and working the crowd.


The tables heaped high with junk or with treasure,

I guess that depends on whatever's your pleasure.

The crowd moves about in groups or alone,

Searching for bargains to carry back home.


And that dear old couple whose smile belies

Their heart's heavy ache and pain in their eyes

Of the treasures they'd saved for so many years,

The secrets each held of glad times and tears.


A cradle whose footboard was worn and bare

Of each golden head that had nestled there.

Their daughter's dolls with snipped off hair,

The pushed-in eye that brought total despair--


The broom-tailed horse that was their son's

That chased down the robbers in make-believe fun.

Books, games and toys, keepsakes so dear

All brought out emotions of laughter and tears.


And so it went on from morning till night

Each article greeted with jeers or delight.

At last came a box all sealed and wrapped tight

With scotch-tape and twine and ribbons so bright.


"How much am I offered for this veil and gown?"

Holding it to him and dancing around--

"And lookie here! That's a spiffy old suit

Five bucks takes it all, and the old shoes to boot--"


But the old man stood up,

Made his way through the crowd.

Some started whispering, others cheering out loud.

He took the things from him

The tears then did start;

"These aren't for sale---they're part of my heart!"


Days Gone by

Oh take me back to long ago

When life was simple and times were slow

When all the hard work was done with pride

And accomplishment left a glow inside.


When hardship came as part of life

And no one buckled under sorrow or strife

When neighbour treated neighbour 

As though they were brothers

Lending a hand and helping each other.


When 'stress' was not a familiar word

And 'suicide' was something no one ever heard

When folks were happy and not always sad

When people thanked God for whatever they had.


The Morning Walk

I take my morning walk outside

And greet my little friends

Their faces pure, their arms stretched out

Yet making no demands.


I talk to them and kiss their cheeks

And wish them all "good-day"

I long to stay and visit more

But turn and walk away.


There's so much work I have to do

Work that just can't wait--

I turn around for one last look,

Then stop and hesitate.


To heck with work and life's demands

They'll never go away--

Today I'll sit amongst my flowers

And spend a perfect day!

Rose C. Johnson raised a family and farmed in Alberta until 2018. She is now a resident at Shepherd's Place in Edmonton.