Cleaning House

Poetry for those inclined toward spring cleaning, from the May 11, 1900 Skidmore Standard:

Cleaning House
(By the Kid on the Fence)

Folks say it’s spring, – I guess it is
Fer birds is a-comin’ back;
Bees is a-flyin’ – frogs a croakin’
Sly old hen, her head a-pokin’
Out of the nest in the stack.
Sun pops out, an’ makes me lazy
Dad he plows – an’- plows,
Mam an’ the gals has gone clean crazy
They’re into the “cleanin’ house.”

Listen at that back door a-slammin’
See them cheers a-flyin’!
Hear that yowl?  They’ve murdered the cat,
Riddle the beds from piller to slat.
(Hokey! I feel like dyin’.)
There! They’re scrubbin’ the kitchen floor.
I hear the water ka-souse,
An’ Mam like a loonattick, yellin’ fer more,
She’s boss of the “cleanin house.”

Everything’s turned inside out,
Water’s splashed all ’round,
Bed-ticks out on the hoss-lot fence, –
(Mam hain’t got a lick ov sense,
See that clothes-line — down!!)
Pigs a-chawin’ my Sunday hat,
Makes my dander rouse, —
Ef ever I marry, I’ll tell you THAT,
There’ll be no “cleenin’ house.”

I b’leeve I’ll slope fer the fishin’ hole,
An drown myself, clean ded!
(I hear ’em, smashin’ the dishes to bits
The house’ll be riddled before Mam quits
An’ I don’t give a measly red!)
Soon I’ll be laid in a suicide’s grave,
Whar the calves can come and browse,
An’ chaw their cud, an’ weep fer the kid,
Which dide from “cleanin’ house.”


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