- She bluffed, I thought, so I'd not doubt she loved him
- yet despite
- His meanness; bickering at all that softened living:
- oysters Sunday night;
- Or Katie's cap and bib; clean things when old would
- do. I never quite
- Made out his sneaking-up upon my childhood days;
- appearing, gnomelike,
- In dark summer streets to find my tryst with village
- His uncanny market mind (land he bought would turn
- out coal
- Or well spout oil) would not prevent his salting down
- the cash. He'd go
- To greater length that night to scan household
- expense. "What! Roll
- In luxury, when without Christ each minute heathen
- His strange explosive gifts of furs, a car, could not
- make me forget
- He'd read my letters once. My charm for men evoked
- a father's pride
- Which quickly turned to anger when a bird came
- down. He ever met
- My sword with sword . . . And if my mother cared
- I could not tell.
- She'd only laugh, "What do you care?" . . . I
- thought she bluffed right well.
- But came that day in church we thought her dead. My
- father jumped
- Across a pew and held her close. Such wild sweet
- quivering passionate things
- I've never heard from lover. His eyes burned blue.
- His gray-tinged hair all humped
- Askew, waxed mustache-ends twitched frightfully. As
- if wings
- Were lent, his small slim figure bore her lighter weight
- out to the air.
- Those words! My God! (What if he knew he said
- them!) Had such stuff
- Been offered me by John I'd married him long since.
- Does life quite dare
- Hold such romance? And all my days I thought her
- smile a bluff!
__Margaret E. Haughawout.
Margaret E. Haughawout
(Pittsburg, Kansas: __. 1929)
December 17, 2002 /
John & Susan Howell /
Visit the Home Page for Kansas
A service of the Kansas State Library