Layin' By

There's a fly in the ointment, a bug in the stew!
Is 'at a hair in my cornbread, what're things comin to?
No fatback fer the turnip greens; beef jerkey won't chew!
No sweetnin fer the coffee, what's a body to do?

Wood's split fer the cook stove, Martha White in the sack,
buttermilk in the spring house, skillet hanging out back,
pinch o' salt; a little lard, Arm & Hammer from the can.
Put together makes biscuits...fresh buttered, Oh man!

In hard times or good times we barely made it through
the long winters, when we ate what last summer we grew.
A late Spring, an early frost, little rain in the season
often crippled the provisioning without rhyme or reason.

Spring apples we dried, fall apples were fried
then packed in their jars; nothing wasted, we tried
butter from the peelings, in abundance, sweet cider
pressed by old Bessie, round and round with no rider.

White potatoes, hand dug, were stored in their pit;
sweet potatoes and turnips, as many as would fit
in the bins in the shed, were treasured like gold
in the hopes their sustenance would get us through the cold.

The sweet corn, the snap beans, the tomatoes, the peas,
butter beans, yellow squash, as pretty as you please,
all graced the shelves of the cellar by the door,
copious pantry, full stored, who'd ask any more?

The smokehouse, a busy place during hog-killing time,
where the hams, the fatback and the sausage when prime
were bathed in hickory smoke seven days in a row
to hang till hungry winter to the larder made us go.

The hen house, the out house, tiny shed fer the cow,
vital sanctuaries in hard times, then and now,
fer the animals, the fodder, both shelter and store,
feeding them was helping us, never once thought a chore.

--jawjajack goobersack



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