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More poems by Theodore RoethkeTheodore Roethke | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Theodore RoethkeBooks by Theodore Roethke

The Saginaw Song

Theodore Roethke

In Saginaw, in Saginaw,
     The wind blows up your feet,
When the ladies' guild puts on a feed,
     There's beans on every plate,
And if you eat more than you should,
     Destruction is complete.

Out Hemlock Way there is a stream
     That some have called Swan Creek;
The turtles have bloodsucker sores,
     And mossy filthy feet;
The bottoms of migrating ducks
     Come off it much less neat.

In Saginaw, in Saginaw,
     Bartenders think no ill;
But they've ways of indicating when
     You are not acting well:
They throw you through the front plate glass
     And then send you the bill.

The Morleys and the Burrows are
     The aristocracy;
A likely thing for they're no worse
     Than the likes of you or me,—
A picture window's one you can't
     Raise up when you would pee.

In Shaginaw, in Shaginaw
     I went to Shunday Shule;
The only thing I ever learned
     Was called the Golden Rhule,—
But that's enough for any man
     What's not a proper fool.

I took the pledge cards on my bike;
     I helped out with the books;
The stingy members when they signed
     Made with their stingy looks,—
The largest contributors came
     From the town's biggest crooks.

In Saginaw, in Saginaw,
     There's never a household fart,
For if it did occur,
     It would blow the place apart,—
I met a woman who could break wind
     And she is my sweet-heart.

O, I'm the genius of the world,—
     Of that you can be sure,
But alas, alack, and me achin' back,
     I'm often a drunken boor;
But when I die—and that won't be soon—
     I'll sing with dear Tom Moore,
     With that lovely man, Tom Moore.

Coda:

My father never used a stick,
     He slapped me with his hand;
He was a Prussian through and through
     And knew how to command;
I ran behind him every day
     He walked our greenhouse land.

I saw a figure in a cloud,
     A child upon her breast,
And it was O, my mother O,
     And she was half-undressed,
All women, O, are beautiful
     When they are half-undressed.


Submitted by Michael Schiavo

Added: 2 Mar 2003 | Last Read: 21 Sep 2018 10:00 PM | Viewed: 5537 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/8082/ | Viewed on 21 September 2018.
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