Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IOWA COMMUNITY, by ROBERT STUHR



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

IOWA COMMUNITY, by            
First Line: All these houses huddled in the valley
Last Line: We'll look back over a life well done.
Subject(s): Iowa


TO BE SAID ALOUD IN EARLY EVENING

All these houses huddled in the valley
Are sending up incense to the great god of winter.
And I think I can tell by the smoke that goes up,
Who it was that has kindled the fire.
That thin blue splinter is the widow Bloom's,
She kindles her fire with sticks and twigs gathered in the yard where the wind blows them down.
And that steady gray stream belongs to old farmer Dorn.
His daughter is home from the city
And his idea of hospitality
Is putting more fuel on the fire.
Black, and thick as chocolate pudding
Is the smoke that comes from the banker's house.
Whatever faults the banker may have,
He's not stingy with his smoke.
All these houses huddled in the valley
Are sending up incense to the great god of winter,
And I think I can tell by the smoke that goes up,
Who it was that has kindled the fire.

TO BE SUNG AT A SQUARE DANCE

He ate from linen with a silver spoon
But the strings of his heart sang an unhappy tune.
My heartstrings played a lovely air
Though my pockets were empty and my cupboards bare.
His clothes are of satin, velvet and gold
While I dress in calico, wretched and old.
But for neighbors I have no lack
Even though I live in a broken-down shack.
So, sing and be happy, shout and be gay,
Come, and we'll dance all the hours away.
And when the time's come to greet the morning sun,
We'll look back over a life well done.





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