Poetry of Kansas

The Call of the Brook

Whene'er a gentle shower falls
And lures the red worms from the soil
A still, small voice from somewhere calls
And bids me quit insipid toil.
I want to take a line and hook,
A can of wiggly, squirming bait,
And mope off to the burbling brook
Where hungry bullheads stand and wait.
The green upon the gracefu1 elm,
The red-bird singing in the tree,
The tadpole as he ports his helm
Are all of interest to me.
This angling is a sport for kings,
It beats baseball and mumbly pegs;
It makes dull care sprout eagle wings
And knocks the spavin from my legs.
And as I hit the homeward route
'Tis sweet to think, at eventide,
When I have yanked their innards out
How nice those fish will be when fried.
I like their flavor, it is true
But if I do not get a bite,
I feel most any way but blue
As I go tramping home at night.
For narrow is the soul of him
Whose only concept of success
Hangs on the proposition, slim,
Of whether he can catch a mess.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 107

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November 7, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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