This was a poem written by my late Great Grandfather for his wife. I’m sure once you read it, you will understand the story and why it was written and if not, then I’ll explain it at the bottom of the poem.


Two little girls come prancing down the street

looking so tidy so prim and so neat

as usual with flowers arranged as a posey

chosen so carefully and carried so cosy

Their flaxen hair brushed and tied up with ribbon

sometimes red, or blue, or yellow with dots

They cross over the road and enter the shop

and breathlessly call out ‘are you there Pop?’

I answer back and say ‘here I am

getting this lady some bread and some ham.’

So up they both come and show me their flowers

I say ‘how lovely, must have taken you hours.’

They say ‘no, we soon gathered them in

“Please Pop – isnanarin?’

Three little ‘cubs’ come bursting right in

‘we just called to see you’ they say with a grin

we’re off to the scout hall to do our drill

like “Do this , do that – now stand perfectly still”

Then off they go with a ‘yike’ and a ‘yowel’

and soon on the air floats a discordant howl

Later that evening they come sauntering back

with tales of thir prowess in their wolf cub pack

And badges and ribbons to prove its no bull,

so I listen and nod and decide, lifes never dull

Then comes the query above all the din

“Please Pop – isnanarin?”

On Saturday morning when busy with shoppers

up draws a Holden with pack rack and four toddlers

Its Jack and his family to select the weeks goods

like groceries and veges and fruit and new spuds

While I serve customers who come in time to time

Barbara gets her goods ready and sets them in line

The toddlers ‘Lindy’ and ‘Carol’ and new baby ‘Heather’

look round and usually find where the lolls are all together

While Ashley the eldest just looks at the comics

and reads about Batman and all Phantom frolics

Then they all come and ask with a grin

“Please Pop – isnanarin?”

Two little girls still come down the street

and three young cubs scouts call in every week

The Holden still comes to the shop on a Sat

while Pop carries on selling this and serving that

But no longer do voices call out when they get in

“Please Pop – isnanarin?’

For Nana has now gone away overseas

to visit relations and give them a squeeze

To smell the sweet violets and primroses too

when Spring follows Winter and chills of the flu

To sit in the park after rain is all gone

or buzz off to town where shopping is done

And return to her sister whose house she now lives in

and perhaps in her dreams hears a whisper

“Please Pop – isnanarin?”

Written by A.I.R Cross 16/02/1972

This beautiful poem is the one my Great Grandfather wrote for his wife Iris when she went back to England to be with family and he thought that she would never return to him. All the people mentioned in the poem are uncles and aunts of mine, even my mum is mentioned in the poem.

For those who may not have worked it out, isnanarin? = is nana in? Family members would call into Nan and Pop’s shop all the time and for awhile one of the questions was ‘isnanarin?’ they all wanted to know if she was back or when she would be back. It took awhile and a few trips overseas before Iris settled for good here in Australia and realised that her family was here, all around her.

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