Poetry of Kansas


The train was very crowded yesterday,
But only two of all the people there
Were marked as different from the rest of us--
One was a famous man, fighting away
The curious questions of a curious mob;
The other had a physical defect
That made him challenge with self-conscious eye
Any glance that lingered overlong.
Then all the rest of the squirming mass
Were everyday and average sort of folks,
Just averagely tall or fat or thin,
With arms and legs and ears like yours and mine,
With average sort of minds, I venture, too,
Like yours and mine,
Liking baseball, and dog fights, children, fun,
And-secretly-romance and poetry.
I wonder, do we prize enough our place,
We lucky ones, we average?
Not poor enough to want for anything,
Not rich enough to tire of everything,
Not famous so that every look and word
Is analyzed, reported, talked about,
Not set apart in body or in mind.
We average ones can go our way in peace
Unnoticed; free to wear old hats and shoes
To marry with no pictures in the paper,
No counting of the buttons on the spats
Of the best man's brother-in-law;
We buy department store things that will fit;
We change our minds as of ten as we please;
We go our way unpitied, if unpraised;
We sin a little sin, perhaps, incog.
If you belong then to the great elect,
Give pity to the freaks, the frumps, the fain
Give pity most of all to the forlorn;
But in your secret heart thank lucky stars
That you are blest by being average.
__May Willams Ward.

May Williams Ward
page 20
(Atlanta: The Bozart Press. 1929)

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September 4, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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