Poetry of Kansas

Fishing Time

I often think I'll take a day and have some jolly
I long to lay this pen away and quit these silly
I want to take my line and hook and go down to the
And seek the most inviting hole and fish for near a
But yet I know this impulse wild I must not carry out
For by it I am oft beguiled to paths of pain and doubt.
Because when I go out to fish I rarely get a bite
But sit there all day long and wish, then wander
        home at night.
The turtles always get my bait as soon as I begin,
They gather round in droves and wait to watch me
        throw it in;
And when I go to hunt some more and delve around
        and toil,
The insects all have locked their door and gone down
        in the soil.
I might dig down to bedrock firm and never get a
I do not think I'd find a worm to hunt from sun to
But if there's any poison oak, I'll meet with that in-
And then my face I have to soak in acetate of lead.
Mosquitoes come and buzz and sing and prod me
        with their bills,
And yet I wonder every spring what makes me have
        the chills.
So perish, fond delusion, no longer will I dream
Of quiet and seclusion along the babbling stream.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 76-77

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June 22, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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