Poetry of Kansas

The Parade Habit

It used to be in strenyus times when things was r'iled
        a bit
We'd gather round the grocery stove an' argify an'
But now our mouths we do not shoot, our backs we
        do not arch,
For when we wish to make our p'int, we jist git out
        an' march.
The fellers who are strong for peace, who fear war's
        dread alarm,
They lay aside their labors now in store or shop or
An' form theirselves in solid, ranks along the busy
To prove that they are in the right by workin' of
        their feet.
Likewise the guys who say this land is wholly unpre-
Who think the mollycoddles are all asleep or scared,
They mass their solid columns within the marts of
An' hoof it down the avenue an' give a big parade.
The gals who b'leeve in sufferage are trampin' out
        the votes,
The labor unions walk to show how mammon got
        their goats;
We have no use for orators our the'ries to expound,
We'd ruther go an' hire a band an' foller it around;
We do not quote authorities to show that we are right
When we go in for buildin' roads or puttin' booze to
An' if some other feller's scheme we want to give a
We simply gather up a crowd an' hayfoot round the

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Pages 104-105

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June 21, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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