Poetry of Kansas

Propriety In Dress

Oh, father is a careless wight,
A sloven wight is he;
He sat out in the yard one night
Beneath the greenwood tree.
And mother's feelings much were hurt,
The family disgraced,
For naught except an undershirt
He wore above the waist.
Sufficient collar wasn't there
To hide his manly chest
And something like an inch of hair
Was showing on his breast.
But father has no modesty,
As you can plainly see,
To clothe himself so scantily
And sit beneath the tree.
When sister, charming little elf,
Sits out beneath the tree-
Well, I'd incriminate myself
To tell what you can see.
To say her dress is much too low
As well as much too high
Is quite a paradox, I know,
And may sound like a lie.
The hem is just about so high
And flaps her knees about,
Her bodice proves an alibi
And leaves her thorax out;
And when upon parade she goes
Along the village street
She has to walk upon her toes
Instead of on her feet.
But mother, while she does her bit
As keeper of the flock,
Is never known to throw a fit
Because of sister's frock.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 52

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March 6, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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