Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
My Town
By Laura Sherry
 
From “A Town on the River”

I KNOW a town all through
Better than I know myself.
Sometimes I think perhaps it is myself.
I know this little town lives unproclaimed
On the banks of a rushing river.        5
I know that it is there,
And it rests me to know.
In the quiet of this town
There is something living greatly—
I know that too.        10
When I was little I knew it.
 
We played, we always played.
The out-of-doors was ours.
The town, the prairie, the hills and the river
Given with God’s prodigality.        15
We made new games to fit the great playground.
We played, we always played;
Old and young played.
 
We didn’t take God on faith—
There he stood out in the open        20
And we worshipped him,
Our hearts bursting with the full-blooded joy of it.
We worshipped him
In the rain and the snow and the sun.
 
In the summer        25
A lavender lady-slipper,
Suddenly come upon in the hills,
Was an adventure.
The rock-hung coulees;
The rainbow pearls locked in the flesh of the river clams;        30
The unkempt shaggy sloughs hiding away from the enterprising river;
In retiring distances, muffled echoes of steamboat whistles;
The silent voices of the trees in the great log-rafts travelling from Minnesota woods to St. Louis;
The season when the hills rang with the songs of the nut-gatherers;
A flock of wild geese flying south;        35
The Indians’ hot palette splashed on the October hills—
All, all were adventures.
 
And when their brothers called from Picardy,
Old and young came from the hills, the fields, the mills,
To fight, as they played, for the full-blooded joy of it.        40
In shell-torn trenches,
Above the cries of the battle,
My people could laugh, and shout:
“There’s nothing to worry about!
In the hills by a rushing river        45
A lavender lady-slipper blows.
I know that it is there—
It rests me to know.
I like to think about it.”
 
 
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