THE COUNTRY STORE
(from the Atlanta Constitution 1906)
Far out beyond the city's lights, away from din and roar,
The cricket chirps of summer nights beneath the country store.
The drygoods boxes ricked about afford a welcome seat
For weary tillers of the ground, who here on evenings meet.
A swinging sign of ancient make, and one above the door,
Proclaim that William Henry Blake is owner of the store.
Here everything from jam to tweed, from silks to ginghams bright,
Is spread before the shopping folk from early morn till night.
[Individual readers read one item each, maintaining the rhythm of the lines.]
Tea, sugar, coffee (browned or green),
molasses, grindstones, tar,
Suspenders, peanuts, navy beans,
and homemade vin-e-gar,
Fine combs, wash ringers, rakes, false hair,
paints, rice, and looking glasses,
Side saddles, hominy, crockery ware,
and seeds for garden grasses.
Lawn mowers, candies, books to read,
corn planter, household goods,
Tobacco, salt, and clover seed,
Horsewhips, and knitted hoods,
Canned goods, shoe blacking, lime, and nails,
straw hats, and carpet slippers,
Prunes, buttons, codfish, bridal veils,
cranberries, clocks, and clippers.
Umbrellas, candles, scythes, and hats,
caps, boots, and shoes and bacon,
Thread, nutmegs, pins, and Rough on Rats,
for cash or produce taken,
Birdseed, face powder, matches, files,
ink, onions, and many more
Are found in heaps and stacks and piles within the country store.
Ricked – piled up like a haystack (rick)
Drygoods – clothing, cloth goods
Tillers of the ground – farmers
Cash or produce – cash or trade
Rough on Rats – rat poison