“Make Do” Poem by Mary Lou Meyers/Remembering D-Day

As I promised, I have another great poem by my classmate, Mary Lou Meyers. This one is perfect for D-Day and the beginning of the end of WWII, since the poem describes “making do” during the war. It’s also a good example of Earth Day Every Day and demonstrates that recycling is not really something new. (Photos from the Internet and descriptions are my additions.)


Photo of socks that need mending


Make Do

Words forged on the home front, “make do,”

holes in our socks, soles worn through.

Paper Sole Sammy made them look like new.

Mother spared, “a stitch in time saves nine.”

Invisible patches on suits and Sunday dresses,

turning collar and cuffs on Dad’s work shirt a must.

I learned to darn socks over a bulb with bold weaving

till with practiced hand, it became deceiving.

Photo of a darning egg from Internet


Many long braids untouched by scissors or machine wave,

in patriotic fervor donated for Navy instruments.

“Junk can win the war,” saved paper, cans, and more.

Castoffs on the side of the road a storehouse

filling my dream, a two-wheeler from parts made whole,

good as new with leftover auto paint, heavenly blue,

a heavy weight, but Dad said it strengthened my legs.


Neighborhood, “hand me downs,” were a way of life,

an art form to take scraps of material left

from Mother’s outfit to make one for me.

Unraveling wool from dad’s worn sweater,

saving the best to knit a red vest for my brother.

Country cousins sewed and pressed floral feed sacks,

did their best for a one of a kind back to school dress.


Photo of dress from floral feed sack


We made “do” without a car walking back and forth

saving nickels instead of bus fare to the store, parings

composted in our Victory Garden nourished the soil and us.

Meat and butter a rarity with rationing,

when company came, mother exchanged poor man’s bread

for poor man’s cake, raisins in a smiley face on top.


Congressional Library Vintage Photo of a Victory Garden


“Cheap” was not a word of blame but praise,

going green and recycling was what we naturally did,

joy in finding or growing something useful and free.

Today’s trash could turn into tomorrow’s necessities.

Will those Good Times ever happen again?

The populace blended when “Make Do” was the thing to do.


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