Poetry of Kansas

Sister's Summer Hat

My sister bought a summer hat,
      The rim was three feet wide,
It had a doodad on in front
      And feathers at the side;
She wore the hat to Sunday School,
      She wore it to the show
And everywhere that sister went,
      The hat was sure to go.
The plumage of the rooster,
      The blue jay and the crow
Is gaudy and is glossy
      And makes a heap of show;
The trappings of the ancient knight
      Were made of burnished brass
And the way they used to glitter
      There was nothing could surpass;
But there's naught in art or nature
      That was ever seen before
That can start to hold a candle
      To the hat that sister wore.
When she wore it out in public,
      Folks were filled with wild dismay
For they couldn't see a box car
      If that hat was in the way;
At church no one would sit behind
      The pew where sister sat
For they could not see the preacher
      Because of sister's hat;
And many of the brethren
      Who were slightly under-size
Lost all the claim they ever had
      To mansions in the skies,
And each was represented
      Only by a vacant chair,
For they would not go to meeting
      If sister's hat was there.
Now sister had a sweetheart,
      As sisters sometimes do,
But the wide expansive headgear
      Broke the love affair in two;
For when they went out strolling
      To hold communion sweet
My sister walked upon the walk,
      Her fellow in the street.
But sister does not worry,
      Though all our folks are sad;
She does not seem to give a care
      That every one is mad.
Perhaps she thinks it matters not
      If people frown or smile
Or what they say about her hat
      So long as it's in style.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Pages 70-71

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June 11, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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