I composed this poem for my dear Nanny in 1996.
| COMPOSED IN 1996 FOR NANNY'S 80th BIRTHDAY Dear Nanny, it's your birthday It appears you've had a few If my math is correct today You're 10x4x2. To the family Bissenden A little girl was born. And Gladys she was christened One British April morn. 1916 was the year; End of the month marked down. World War 1 was looming near. Old Hastings was the town. On a ship as a wee four-year old child Nanny sailed across the vast sea. Our Gladys landed in the Canadian wild Bound for Fort William eventually. You must once have had a British lilt But all trace of it is now but a tease. You enjoy reading the English 'gilt' Of romances, who-done-its, histories. As you grew in years and faith Nan You became a committed mother After four daughters in the clan Your fifth, a son, became another. As a child I sent you many a letter The exact number I don't know, but a lot. Each one of them got better and better, But they ended the same, "Love Sandy B." (b-dot) From this offspring of fabulous five Came grandchildren to laugh and lumber. At last count in the family hive, There were thirteen- a lucky number! With great-grandchildren added to the branches, The family tree is thicker. At last count there were 3x3, and chances Are the limbs will grow much quicker. I've known you the longest As the eldest grandchild in this family of merit. To express them most strongest, The glorious gift of words from you, I inherit. So on this most auspicious occasion For my beloved Nanny's 80th year, With much love and the greatest persuasion, I cheer, "Pip, pip. Happy Birthday! Here! Here!" (44 lines)