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The Young Old-Timer

Text of Poem

His hands seek each other under his overall bib,
his back arching against convenient corners,
but his eyes raise the question
and his throat repeats it—
why is it that nothing is the same?

Nobody worked so hard then and they had enough too,
and the crick’s smaller than it used to be and
the ground ain’t so rich.

We can’t raise crops like they did,
and dust storms and floods, desert’s creeping east,
no snow in winter, no thunder and lightning in June,
why is it like this?

Mildly he presses his quarrel with the times
at every meeting, at every corner-gathered group,
his anxious face sniffs
the wind of destiny and in his ears
the loudly rising storm of doom roars down
like the horn of Gabriel blown from his own barn ridge.

First Line
His hands seek each other under his overall bib
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
1943
Original Citation
The Sun at Noon. Muscatine, Iowa: The Prairie Press, 1943. 12.
Republication
Complete Poems
60
Hearst Collections
Word Count
135
Poetic Form
open
Bibliographic Notes

Published in Collected as "The Young Old Timer" without the dash in "Old-Timer".

Themes
Twitter Quote
why is it that nothing is the same?