My father was a spruiker. At the juncture of each road,
he pulled his wagon to the side and spilled out all his load.
His wagon, heavy-laden, contained such treasures that
he knew he would sell something. He had his spiel down flat.
He had an old pump organ whose callithumpian tunes
filled the air with music from the treetops to the dunes.
People came from miles away to see what caused the din,
then grouped around the wagon to see what was within.
This commenced the distribution of all my papa’s treasures:
clothes and pans and furbelows and other worldly pleasures:
squeezeboxes and vases and women’s pantaloons,
chamber pots and laces and inflatable pontoons.
Pre-loved dolls for little girls and balls for little boys.
Jump ropes, checkers, building blocks, assorted wind-up toys.
Tobacco plugs for Grandpa and canning jars for Gran.
Corsets for vain ladies to decrease their middle span.
Bridles for one’s horses and ropes to lead their cows.
Chicken feed and saddles and feeding trays for sows.
There was hardly anything that wagon did not hold,
and my father’s selling spiel was loud and brash and bold.
“Huzzah huzzah, huzzzah!” he’d call out to the crowd,
his bounty spread for viewing and touching was allowed.
Everything available–all that you could see
except for one thing on the wagon seat, and that small girl was me!!!!
spruiker noun at spruik verb. DEFINITIONS1. 1. (Australian English) someone who tries to persuade people to buy something, use a service, etc often in a dishonest or exaggerated way.
Callithumpian refers to a band of discordant instruments or a noisy parade.