TRUST IN AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD part 2

My ma and pa were trusting souls,

Who trusted everyone they met;

Pa’s word was his bond, he’d say,

That’s something I’d never forget.

“he’d give  his shirt right off his back”

My mama sometimes sighed,

But secretly she loved the fact,

Pa was that way; it gave her pride–

You treat ev’ryone with respect”

He’d sometimes say to me,

And they will all respect you too”

and it was plain to see

that everyone in Cutler’s Park

Respectfully agreed,

So when some fellows came around

seeking work, my papa hired

them even though we didn’t have

enough work–but Pa claimed that he was tired,

of doing it all, by himself,

Some help would give him ease–

but a few days later, them fellas took

Everything they pleased —

They stole pa’s hammer and his ax

and even a box of nails!

Then they took our stuff to town

and tried to run up sales–

But all the merchants in our town,

Recognized pa’s tools,

And nobody would buy a thing

(they weren’t nobody’s fools)

And they called the sheriff in

and told him what they knew,

The sheriff put those men in jail,

Those men were in a stew;

Somebody rode out to our farm

to tell Pa all about it,

He went to town to get his tools,

There warn’t two ways about it;

Pa marked  his tools with a C

for Charles, that was his name,

the Sheriff wanted pa to sign

a paper, so’s they could blame

Those fellows that they had in jail

Pa said “if it’s all the same

to you, I wish you’d let them go

and send them on their way,

Mayhap they wont come here again,

No harm, no foul, I say”  

Now you may think folks thought pa soft,

But it warn’t that way, you know,

Folks knew pa had a trusting heart,

and so the sheriff let them go.

And those men could not find work

anywhere, in our countryside,

I don’t know what became of them,

but pa’s reputation only grew.

Folks said he was a trusting soul

that’s what the whole town knew.

 

Sandra Lee Smith

 

Originally posted March, 2012

Updated August 29, 2018

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