Poetry of Kansas

The Old Man.

I was just thinking___
I've thought of words like Lincoln spoke that time at Gettysburg.
But no one ever approached me and asked me to make the Fourth
      of July speech.
I suppose they didn't know.
I used to sing some in the program with the quartet, though.
Folks always liked my tenor voice.
I thought some of having it trained.
If I hadn't got so scared when I sang alone I might have been
Though, of course, I couldn't have been Italian, having been born <
      in Kansas.
Italy's a long way.
But I always did like travel___
Africa was my favorite country to read about.
I suppose that was the way with Livingstone.
I suppose I might have been Dave Livingstone if I hadn't gone to
I was just thinking
I reckon folks never did really know me.
And now they want to keep me sitting here where they can watch
      me doze.
Once in a while they ask me if my feet are good and warm,
And once in a while they set down some broth beside me.
I was just thinking
I guess they act all right.
Why should they act different when they don't really know me?

__Margery Day, Lawrence

Contemporary Kansas Poetry
Helen Rhoda Hoopes
page 44
(Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)

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May 26, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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