Poetry of Kansas
 

The Song of the Dishwasher.

Oh, scrape 'em and wash 'em and wipe 'em again.
Oh, pity the maidens and pity the men
Who are working their way through this teacher machine *
By washing club dishes and washing 'em clean.
It's breakfast and dinner and supper, and then,
Breakfast comes round and we wash 'em again.
The landlady's worried, oh pity her, too,
The boarders skip out when their board bill is due,
And Mephisto himself devises the schemes,
To worry these women, poor creatures, it seems.
Exorbitant prices for groceries are paid,
And meager, oh meager, the profit that's made.
But dishes to wash and dry 'em again;
So pity the maidens and pity the men
Who are working their way through this teacher machine
By washing club dishes and washing 'em dean.

It's hurry and hustle and rustle and rub,
Out in the kitchen concocting the grub;
It's soup that's cold and soup that's hot,
Soup that's made of the Lord knows what,
It's beef that's stale and beef that's tough,
Butter that's strong as bold McDuff,
Bread that's good and bread that's not;
The coffee steams in the coffee-pot,
The cake is dough and the pie's a muss.
The boarders growl and the boarders fuss,
Waiters flutter and fly around,
The clatter of dishes and pans resound__
This brings us back to the start again,
So pity the maidens and pity the men
Who are working their way through this teacher machine
By washing club dishes and washing 'em clean.

* Written while in school at Kansas State Normal.

__Clyde L. Davis.

A Kansan At Large
Clyde L. Davis
(Forest Hills, New York: Bernice Carter Davis. 1924)
Pages 91-92

 
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May 29, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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