Poetry of Kansas

Yesterday and Today

Along the dry, deep-rutted prairie trail
    The dusty oxen swung with toiling tread;
Behind, the prairie schooner, in full sail,
    With creak and rumble followed as they led,
Heaped high with all the settler called his own,
    The household treasures of the pioneer
Who left behind the settled land and the known
    And faced the unknown west without a fear.
Over a brick-paved, clean-swept city street,
    Where once the creaking, ox-drawn wagon went,
By deafening horn and gong's quick clanging beat
    Far heralded, and circled 'round with scent
Of gasoline, the motor car now speeds.
    With whiz of whirling wheels, with search-light's glare,
With dizzy haste that no obstruction heeds,
    The settler's son enjoys the evening air.

__J. M. Metcalf.

Originally published in the Kansas Magazine
(November 1909)

September 20, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library