Thought I’d write a poem
About my family tree –
That quest to find my ancestors,
To trace their link to me.
They came from England mostly,
To this alien, distant shore.
They were seeking new beginnings
For they wanted something more.
They left behind the English fields,
Small villages, towns and streams,
The blacksmith’s forge, the looms, the farms,
For they had their special dreams.
They survived horrific journeys
In vessels cramped and small.
Rough seas, disease, privations, fear –
Huge challenge to them all.
And when they reached this new land,
Stepped ashore on Botany Bay
What thoughts, of home, of England
Ran through their minds that day.
With bullock drays and hand drawn carts
They ventured forth to find
The place that they could call their own:
These pioneer kin of mine.
They found their plots, their place to dwell;
But then they came to know
The threats of drought and fire and flood
And nowhere else to go.
But they survived, these hardy folk,
Through times both harsh and good.
I’d really like to meet them,
To salute them if I could.
Though they’ve been gone for many years,
And their graves are hard to find:
The legacy they’ve left to me
Is ever on my mind.
© Sunny Kate 2007
Images from Wikipedia: Australian public domain photographs