Poetry of Kansas

Old Flames.

We labor and live in the same old town.
    We traverse the same, same street:
We seldom smile, and never frown
    As perchance our footsteps meet:
A gentle nod__ a wave of the hand__
    Is our greeting, quite proper and neat.
Yet once, my life of life was she.
    Her ideal of a man seemed I,
As together we pictured a destiny
    Whose dawn was the bright by-and-by;__
The bright by-and-by, now far in our rear.
    Stretched out between Inerz and I.
Time changed us both in a single year,__
    And we do not regret it now;
We changed, but why? 'tis as yet unclear__
    We changed, and scarcely know how.
Forgotten were all the dreams we dreamt,
    Our hopes our plighted vow,
Sombre and matter of fact we look,
    As we follow our duties about;
Covers, we seem, of an old, old book
    Whose pages are lost and torn out;__
The leaves have twirled away in the wind,
    All tattered and sadly worn out.
Thus we labor and live in the same old town,
    And traverse the same, same street;
Hardly a smile, but never a frown,
    As perchance our footsteps meet;__
A kindly nod__ a wave of the hand__
    'Tis our greeting all proper and neat.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 247-248

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November 23, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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