Friday, December 11, 2015

A Poem from South Dakota Magazine

I had a version of this poem published in a recent issue of South Dakota Magazine

When We Were Quaint

I liked it when we were quaint
And now we’re like the rest.

When I was young
When we were quaint
There were towns
In our prairie state
Where English was the second language.
Where smorgasbords
After Sunday church
Would put the gourmets of today
To shame.
When we visited Lutheran friends,
I ate lefse and jam
And wished that I were Lutheran.

When we went to town
Car doors were locked
Only in harvest season
Or a backseat might be filled
With a neighbor’s overflow
Of rhubarb and zucchini.

In school we practiced
Writing letters in pen and ink
And found a distant relative
Who would be pleased to read.
“How are you?I am fine.”

I liked it when the cream floated
To the top of our milk
Bought from the farm next door.
For dessert we poured it
On my grandmother’s homemade bread
And sprinkled on white sugar.

Now we all have big TV’s.
Cell phones and computers.
We are no longer quaint.
We are homogenized.
We are pasteurized.

We were different then
But didn’t know we were.
And now we’ve seen the rest of the world.
We’ve become the rest of the world.

Sometimes we’re still a little quaint

But only in our memories

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