Dirty Laundry, Potato Chips And Flies

“I Swept And Scrubbed And Washed The Best I Could”

Landing in the last mining

Town in a puff of smoke

In a small little town about

Fives miles below Virginia City

And the Comstock Load

A very steep grade with

Twists and turns between

Dotted with old mining shacks

And mills on the distant hills

No where to go, a nice little

Family, a man, his mother and

Son and daughter lived in a

House beside the road

A two level house, with a

Small apartment they so

Graciously shared

A tall wood stove with a

Chimney stack sat on the

Wall on the west,

A couple of skinny looking

Beds with the dirtiest sheets

That a person had ever seen

On the east wall a sink with

Dirty dishes and an icebox

With no food

And a small table and chairs in the


A lantern we used at night stunk

Of kerosene

I was so hungry that day and

Went up stairs where my

Friend and I would play

It was summer time and

The old screen door with

Holes and tears couldn’t

Keep the flies out and there

Was a bowl of potato chips

With like a dozen flies

I didn’t care and reached for

Some chips when the father

Scolded me for what I did

I felt shame that day, and I know I lied

But I didn’t know why

He didn’t know there wasn’t

Even a morsel of food in

Our little shanty below

My mother, off to her jobs

And gambling halls didn’t

Come home very often

We pretty much fended for

Ourselves, my brother and I

I don’t know why but I was so

Ashamed of the dirt we lived in

The sheets were a faded brown

For hadn’t seen a wash in a very

Long time

One day my mother came home

With a mop and bucket, why

You would have thought she had

Given me a gold locket I was

So glad

I swept and scrubbed, and tried

To wash the sheets in an old iron


Funny, I never did feel like I got

Them clean…

Read more at: www.donnaspoetry.com

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