Poetry of Kansas

Booze Is On The Bum

I saw a railroad ho-bo
    At the crossing here one day,
A sad eyed, weary fellow,
    Upon the ground he lay.
A scarecrow lid lay by him,
    And an old tomato can,
And as a loaded freight went by
    Each car he seemed to scan.
A car of coal from Midway,
    And then a car of hams;
A car of sheep from Parsons
And another filled with lambs;
And then a mammoth car of grain
    And full a dozen more
Were loaded with the products
    Of the factory and store.
At last among the number,
    A yellow car went by
From far away Milwaukee,
    And it caught the ho-bo's eye,
And rising up he pointed
And said, "Look there, By Gum!
There's only one in that whole train,
    Old Booze is on the bum."
I've been around for many springs
    And summers in this State,
I've seen the Booze win for awhile
    Then meet its certain fate.
I've seen the officers side-step
And dodge and haw and hum,
But when the people got a whack,
    Old Booze went on the bum.
I'm not a prophet now but then,
    I used to prophesy,
I said it was impossible
    To make some places dry.
But now the jointists are in jail,
    Bootleggers feelin' glum,
Fer when the people get a show,
    They put Booze on the bum.
It's on the bum in many states,
'Nd most o' folks don't care,
Although the profit sharin' ones
    Are tearing out their hair.
But then the writin's on the wall
And though it strikes 'em dumb,
Like me they've got to work or move,
    Fer Booze is on the bum.

__Ed Blair.

Sunflower Siftings
Ed Blair
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)
Page 166-167

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January 16, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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