Patrick Biggs: My Grandfather's Memories

He tells me of the route he took to school,
Barefoot through snow and over fiery coals,
Uphill, of course, and saddled like a mule
While fending off the wolves and mountain trolls.
He tells me how he worked, when he was young,
Full thirty hours a day of thankless toil,
Shining shoes and shovelling up dung
To fertilise the wealthy neighbour's soil.
And how he starved! He'd sometimes try his luck
Rummaging through a dustbin after dark,
Or fighting over breadcrumbs with a duck
If ever he was at the local park.
He has an ample store of these vignettes,
And none would doubt his detailed memory.
There's just one thing he frequently forgets:
How often he has told it all to me.