Poetry of Kansas

School Day Memories

I used to be a pedagog of country school degree,
I used to spank the towsled kid across my bended
knee,
I used to teach some thirty brats for six months in
the year
And sweep the floor and build the fires for forty
dollars per.
 
I sit today and weave these rhymes and thank my
lucky stars
I do not have to hunt for verbs for busy brains to
parse,
I do not eat cold lunch at noon and wade the mud
and snow;
I gave up all those dreary things a dozen years ago.
 
And yet, when summer days are gone and autumn
comes apace,
An impulse springs within my soul, usurping reason's
place.
The sun is slanting to the south, the days are clear
and cool
And something seems to tell me that I'd like to teach
a school.
 
A vision flits across my mind___a school house small
and white,
With many a knot hole in the wall and broken win-
dow light,
 
A lane that came up from the south, with sunflower,
blooming high
And tufts of yellow goldenrod, delightful to the eye
 
I like to think those boys and girls who gathered
round my knee
Are better men and women now for going to school
to me
And as they rise to conquer in this world of smile and
strife
I only hope I had a part in helping them through life
 
It seems as years go floating by on wings so sure and
fleet
There s something blots the bitter out and leaves
me all the sweet;
For memory can't be trusted if once we give her rein
She brings us all our pleasures back and buries all
our pain.
 

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 98

 
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March 9, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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