A storoem about olden days before vaccines and antibiotics conquered childhood diseases.
|The mother sits in her rocking chair,
slowly rocking as her body shakes
with sobs. She thinks, It’s really not fair
when it is a small child that Death takes.
That very day her five-year-old son
has died, overwhelmed by diphtheria.
Last winter the whooping cough had run
rampant, killing and causing hysteria;
this mother lost her infant daughter
to that epidemic. What a shame!
Hence she grieves at the wanton slaughter
of so many children. Who’s to blame?
Doctors in 1910 do what they can.
Large families with nine or ten kids
born is the norm because every man
knows not all will live...this, disease forbids.
Fathers desire adult children who
can help improve the old ranch or farm.
There’s nothing else a couple can do --
have many babies, hope some escape harm.
As this mother rocks and mourns, she cries out,
“Must the children die? Will this never end?”
Grief from untold mothers lives in her shout.
These diseases tamed! Do you comprehend?
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