Poetry of Kansas

My Wife and I

My wife and I have traveled far
    Along life's road together;
We've sometimes had a cloudy sky,
    And sometimes sunny weather.
We've had our burdens on the way___
    Not dream-loads, light and airy,
But such as bend and strain the back
    Are some we've had to carry.
She's had her load of household things,
    Of batter, brooms and sweeping;
Of fashion plates and needle work,
    And, now and then, of weeping.
She's borne the woes of baby hearts,
    And strain of nervous hours,
That tests the spirit and the flesh,
    And checks the vital powers.
I've had my sermons___heavy things___
    I've had my books and study:
Weighty loads when roads are good,
    And weightier when they're muddy.
And yet our burdens are for both___
    In partnership we bear them;___
Although we cannot place the weight
    So that we justly share them.
When from a stick a bundle swings,
    With two men as its bearers,
If hanging near one end, the men
    Become unequal sharers.
I've tried to keep our common load
    On my side of the middle;
But still it ever shifts. Yet why?
    This is my unsolved riddle.
But still I'll try to ease her care,
    And make her burden lighter,
And give her cheer and hope and joy
    To make her journey brighter.
The way seems long and yet seems short
    Since we together started.
We question sadly: "How long yet
    Before we shall be parted?"
But whether long it be, or short,
    And whether skies be dreary,
We'll plod and hope and share the load,
    And pray for rest when weary.

___John Edward Everett

Quillings In Verse
John Edward Everett
(Smith Center: ___. 1912)
Pages 88-89

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February 14, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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