© Helen Catherine Cramer
Memories will always be
Of the streets I knew so well,
They were free to walk
And sweethearts talked
In parks that knew no fear-
But the scene has changed
And I feel the pain
For the streets of yesteryear

Where we could cuddle in the park
And walk in the dark,
On the streets I knew so well.

The war was still not over
When I answered a nursing call
To start my four years training
At St. Vincents, Darlinghurst Mall-

Eighteen was so tender
And the Cross the place I went
To cry into my coffee cup
When nursing got too tough.

Romances blossomed
Among doctors, nurses, who -
Strolled the streets together
And made the ten curfew.

Then the war was ended
William Street ablaze
Student nurses glowing
We joined the Grand Parade.

The Cross was oh so beautiful
And soon was our domain,
As each evening after duty
We walked through its terrain.

We supped at the coffee shops
Cuddled in the park,
We walked the streets with freedom
The Cross it had a heart.

Why then, now my sadness
As I walk the streets again,
Many years have passed since then
Why should they be the same?

The streets are as I knew them
Many places stand the same
But the scenes not as I saw then
Have years gone down the drain?

There's a woman feeding pigeons
They crowd her starving frame,
There's a body stretched out upon a bench
A man without a name.

A child alone looks desolate
She offers woman's game
As with cigarette hanging
She tries to hide her pain.

A boy crouches in the doorway
He's biting at his nails
His thin frame a trembling
Not clothed for winter's gales.

A group of louts stand idle,
They look for easy game,
Many doorways that I knew then
Now shield a place of shame.

The sun casts its shadows
On the streets I knew so well
And as I look at all the shadings
I feel the tear drops swell.

For the streets that once spoke freedom
Now a prison for broken souls
The youth and old folk living
Yet dying, so I'm told.

And no amount of tourists
Or the gaiety in their swell,
Can restore again the memory
Of the streets I knew so well.
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