Growing Up in a Changing Home Front

 Growing Up in a Changing Home Front

 Free Verse by Robert LaRue, born 1937

When I was young, about age three,

I sat on a limb, in Grandmother’s tree,

And picked avocados,

And ate them.

Nobody told me, I shouldn’t like them.

I stood by a fence, when I was four,

Watching truck farmers, on the other side,

Hoe the field,

And pick vegetables.

The children there, wouldn’t come play.

Some uniformed men, came to the field,

And talked to the farmers, and took them away,

Leaving the plants,

To wither and rot.

I heard adults say, the Japs are gone.


As a boy growing up, I learned about war,

How our boys overseas, killed Germans and Japs,

To save the world,

For Mother and me.

I learned new words, like Kraut and Nip.


When my turn came, I went down South,

I learned to fly airplanes, and shoot and bomb,

To protect the world,

From Ruskies and Chinks.

Japanese and Germans, were now my friends.


A lad from the west, I found the south odd,

For all public places, contained three Johns,

One said MEN,

One said WOMEN.

One said COLORED, no gender inscribed.


Years passed on by, worlds seemed to collide,

Whites against Blacks, the Vietnam War,



Everyone had a cause, and someone to follow.


Commies and Rednecks, Beatniks and Hippies,

Niggers and Jews, Wetbacks and Gooks,

The Klu Klux Klan,


Everyone had a label, and hated the other.


From college to high-tech, sport cars and aerobics,

Yoga and free love, hallucination,

I tried many fruits,

In search of knowledge.

None seemed to taste, of ultimate truth.


Now my world like that limb, in Grandmother’s tree,

Lets me watch from afar, and listen to me,

I eat avocados

Because I like them.

Sometimes, they give me heartburn.


3 thoughts on “Growing Up in a Changing Home Front”

  1. Good writing, Bob. In my opinion, the hate today is more widespread and without the ‘valid’ definition of those past years – if hate can ever be valid.

    1. Thanks Tom, we owe the overworked, under paid, teachers of our day for any literacy we may have achieved. We had teachers who taught two to eight grades in one room and still put us through the drills.

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