Daily Post: The Avid Student

Today’s Prompt:  You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher, and what do they teach you?

The Avid Student

Mrs. O’Leary, teach me how
please oh please, to milk a cow.
I won’t leave here till you do.
I’m bored today, and feeling blue.
Yesterday I baked a cake
with that new baker, name of Jake.
It didn’t rise.  It tasted awful.
Couldn’t eat but one small jaw full.
Day before I went to see
Joe the tailor.  Him and me
made a dress of chambray lace
but when I held it near my face
I found it itched me terrible.
To wear it was unbearable.
So I went on to see the preacher.
Wanted him to be my teacher.
But when it came the time to pray,
he found he hadn’t much to say.
I fear that I destroyed his faith.
I left him white as any wraith,
but found the cobbler in a pew
and asked him how to make a shoe.
He’d witnessed what the preacher did
and so he ran away and hid.
So Mrs. O’Leary, it’s up to you
to show me something I can do.
I know it’s dark, but I need right now
to know just how you milk your cow.
I brought a lantern.  I’ll hold it high.
It’s not real light, but we’ll get by.
I’ll just sit on this straw bale.
You fetch the cow and fetch the pail.
I love the way the hot milk steam
swirls around the rising cream.
I love the rhythm and the pomp
of my light squeeze and Bessie’s stomp
whenever I let loose her tit.
I cannot get enough of it!
But now we’re done and I can see
that bucket’s much too much for thee
to lift,  I’ll put the lantern down and
come with thee to give a hand.
I’ll come right back and close the barn.
Tomorrow, I’ll have quite a yarn
for everyone I want to tell
I finally did something well!!!!

For those of you unacquainted with Mrs. O’Leary, I include this description of The Great Chicago Fire of 1871:

“The summer of 1871 was very dry, leaving the ground parched and the wooden city vulnerable. On Sunday evening, October 8, 1871, just after nine o’clock, a fire broke out in the barn behind the home of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary at 13 DeKoven Street. How the fire started is still unknown today, but an O’Leary cow often gets the credit.

The firefighters, exhausted from fighting a large fire the day before, were first sent to the wrong neighborhood. When they finally arrived at the O’Leary’s, they found the fire raging out of control. The blaze quickly spread east and north. Wooden houses, commercial and industrial buildings, and private mansions were all consumed in the blaze.

After two days, rain began to fall. On the morning of October 10, 1871, the fire died out, leaving complete devastation in the heart of the city. At least 300 people were dead, 100,000 people were homeless, and $200 million worth of property was destroyed. The entire central business district of Chicago was leveled. The fire was one of the most spectacular events of the nineteenth century, and it is recognized as a major milestone in the city’s history.”

8 thoughts on “Daily Post: The Avid Student

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Dream Teacher | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  2. Pingback: Never Too Old To Learn | Prairie Views

  3. Allenda Moriarty

    Read your poem to Charleston, who was aware of The Great Chicago Fire from the little paper bag books I made for him and for James a few years ago. He listened with interest, then, told me he could make up a poem since it didn’t have to rhyme, and promptly made up two poems and recited them. He would not hesitate to take the mic at a poetry reading. Wish you were going to get to connect with that little rascal…next time.

    Like

    Reply

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