First thing after we moved into the
house on Oneida
I made Charlie put those flea-bag hides
in the basement.
Bearskin, horsehide, maybe even a buffalo
or two -
A nice house really has no place for
but he wouldn't think of parting with
and I wasn't ready to part with him.
Early on he seemed content to study
his insurance books.
He had plenty of ideas and he loved
But even then some uneasiness grew.
I had to close
The candy store once we married. I was
Anyway, but he wanted no wife of his
I didn't like his constant stories of
I knew what they meant.
He knew I could never leave my family
Which was all I knew of this world.
He had wandered so far and so long from
Never spoke of his mother or father,
had smoked with sad Indians,
Traded ponies, homesteaded five hundred
acres, and fell in love
With me on a business trip back here.
I knew I'd got him when he passed up
With Mabel Logan to ride with me on
In Dellwood Park. My life was one long
Charlie was a dandy in his fancy suit
And curly brown hair that would become
He loved me, so he stayed. And then,
when it stopped,
We had the boys and Lib, my little girl.
So he stayed
In Joliet and had his farm here and
his farm out west and
The business, but he kept a hard, sad
place in his heart
That drove him to the garden, the basement,
and the field
Once we'd settled in off Theodore Street.
The house was mine - I furnished it
in the pink he hated.
The land was his.
In later years we argued over everything,
but never separated.
We stayed, bound by the children, the
daily routine, the grandchildren.
Our oldest, John, had so many little
ones I never could understand
How Mary Margaret put up with it.
But then she was Italian.