Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Flour Sack






1930 flour sacks
THE FLOUR SACK
BY COLLEEN B. HUBERT


IN THAT LONG AGO TIME WHEN THINGS WERE SAVED,
WHEN ROADS WERE GRAVELED AND BARRELS WERE STAVED,
WHEN WORN-OUT CLOTHING WAS USED AS RAGS,
AND THERE WERE NO PLASTIC WRAP OR BAGS,
AND THE WELL AND THE PUMP WERE WAY OUT BACK,
A VERSITILE ITEM, WAS THE FLOUR SACK.

PILLSBURY'S BEST, MOTHER'S AND GOLD MEDAL, TOO
STAMPED THEIR NAMES PROUDLY IN PURPLE AND BLUE.
THE STRING SEWN ON TOP WAS PULLED AND KEPT;
THE FLOUR EMPTIED AND SPILLS WERE SWEPT.
THE BAG WAS FOLDED AND STORED IN A SACK
THAT DURABLE, PRACTICAL FLOUR SACK.

THE SACK COULD BE FILLED WITH FEATHERS AND DOWN,
FOR A PILLOW, OR T'WOULD MAKE A NICE SLEEPING GOWN.
IT COULD CARRY A BOOK AND BE A SCHOOL BAG,
OR BECOME A MAIL SACK SLUNG OVER A NAG.
IT MADE A VERY CONVENIENT PACK,
THAT ADAPTABLE, COTTON FLOUR SACK.

BLEACHED AND SEWN, IT WAS DUTIFULLY WORN
AS BIBS, DIAPERS, OR KERCHIEF ADORNED.
IT WAS MADE INTO SKIRTS, BLOUSES AND SLIPS.
AND MOM BRAIDED RUGS FROM ONE HUNDRED STRIPS
SHE MADE RUFFLED CURTAINS FOR THE HOUSE OR SHACK,
FROM THAT HUMBLE BUT TREASURED FLOUR SACK!

AS A STRAINER FOR MILK OR APPLE JUICE,
TO WAVE MEN IN, IT WAS A VERY GOOD USE,
AS A SLING FOR A SPRAINED WRIST OR A BREAK,
TO HELP MOTHER ROLL UP A JELLY CAKE,
AS A WINDOW SHADE OR TO STUFF A CRACK,
WE USED A STURDY, COMMON FLOUR SACK!

AS DISH TOWELS, EMBROIDERED OR NOT,
THEY COVERED UP DOUGH, HELPED PASS PANS SO HOT,
TIED UP DISHES FOR NEIGHBORS IN NEED,
AND FOR MEN OUT IN THE FIELD TO SEED.
THEY DRIED DISHES FROM PAN, NOT RACK
THAT ABSORBENT, HANDY FLOUR SACK!

WE POLISHED AND CLEANED STOVE AND TABLE,
SCOURED AND SCRUBBED FROM CELLAR TO GABLE,
WE DUSTED THE BUREAU AND OAK BED POST,
MADE COSTUMES FOR OCTOBER (A SCARY GHOST)
AND A PARACHUTE FOR A CAT NAMED JACK.
FROM THAT LOWLY, USEFUL OLD FLOUR SACK!

SO NOW MY FRIENDS, WHEN THEY ASK YOU
AS CURIOUS YOUNGSTERS OFTEN DO,
"BEFORE PLASTIC WRAP, ELMERS GLUE
AND PAPER TOWELS, WHAT DID YOU DO?"
TELL THEM LOUDLY AND WITH PRIDE DON'T LACK,
"GRANDMOTHER HAD THAT WONDERFUL FLOUR SACK!"

13 comments:

  1. Susie, This poem is so darn true. I can remember my mother speaking of flour sacks. I know that getting any new clothing item would have been wonderful...for it was for any of us kids growing up. My aunt Helen made quilts, we girls would look at the pretty little bits of fabric and say, "wish I had a dress like this." Wishing you well dear Susie. I think of you often. Hope you are doing well. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susie. It does bring back lots of memories for me as well. Blessings to you. xo

      Delete
  2. Such a thought provoking post. Your poem took me back in time when I was a little girl and we never used plastic bags. Our shopping bags were made of old used trousers of my second brother. He outgrew them more than any of us did as he grew up to be very tall. My mom did not believe in wasting anything. My dad lined a book shelf with burlap that came from rice bags.
    I hope that you are taking care of yourself. I have not written for over a couple of weeks now. Very busy at work and home

    Feel better. We need your poems.
    - Munir

    ReplyDelete
  3. Susie, I loved this poem!! I don't remember flour sacks as well as I do sacks that held cow and pig feed. They made the best dish towels and quilt linings!
    Are you feeling better? Sure hope so!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember the feed sacks as well Charlotte. I'm still dragging but hopefully soon. Thanks so much.

      Delete
  4. Oh! I forgot to ask ~ are you in the school picture? It's precious!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful poem & great subject!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh poor kitty, Jack! lol!
    This poem sounds like one of yours, Susie!
    Hope you are well today, my dear friend...Thank you for visiting me and leaving your encouraging comment! Love &~(gentle hugs)~Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lisa. Still praying for you. Hugs back, xo

      Delete
  7. Cute post, Susie. I've been thinking about you. Hope you are feeling some better.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, those were challenging days, but better than these is so many wayas.

    ReplyDelete