Poetry of Kansas

Taking Vacations

Old Rockebilt has lots of dough
And wants for nothing here below;
He has a mansion rich and rare,
With walnut floor and marble stair,
An uptown office, grand and gay,
In which he spends an hour a day.
And while I never saw him do
What looks like work to me and you,
Yet strange to say, within his breast
There dwells the strong desire for rest.
Whene'er the summer comes apace,
He hikes to hunt a cooler place;
From June the first till early fall
He trots around this earthly ball
And visits cities o'er and o'er
He's seen a dozen times before.
He spends a week in Santa Fe,
Then takes a swim in Baffin Bay,
And straightway flits across the foam,
Some twenty thousand miles from home,
To gaze upon the same old Alps
Or view a lot of martyr scalps,
Stacked in a musty catacomb
Upon the site of ancient Rome.
When Rockebilt gets home once more
The autumn days are almost o'er
And he must seek a warmer clime,
Before the rigid winter time
Comes on to chase the goose flesh out
And bring again a twinge of gout.
He sends a call by telephone
To somewhere in the torrid zone
And hires a suite of forty rooms
Where nature wears eternal blooms;
Then up he gets and off he goes
To where it never sleets or snows.
And so it goes, year after year.
He wont stay there he can't stay here;
He never seems to think it best
To take a rest from hunting rest.
I can't afford to gad around
Through Mozambique and Puget Sound;
I have not that amount of cash
To warrant me in such a dash.
Beside I think the man who stays
Upon the job through trying days
Has lots more pleasure when by chance
He gets to don his Sunday pants
And pack his duds into a grip
To start off on his humble trip.
I go down where I used to stay,
A score of miles. or so away,
Which seems to me is better far
Than traipsing off to Zanzibar.
Then all the folks I used to know
Walk up and shake and say hello
And call me by my forward name
And say I'm looking just the same.
I find that country grub a treat
For folks at home have lots to eat;
I join the kids and play at catch,
I hunt the watermelon patch,
Or hang around the cider mill
With cup to catch the nut-brown rill.

__Albert Stroud.


Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Pages 110-111

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September 3, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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