Monday, May 16, 2011

Lord, May I Have A Flour Sack Walk

The Flour Sack poem brought back memories as a little girl in late 1940s. Most of you are way too young to remember flour (or feed) sacks. My dad would use the feed for the chickens, my mother would wash the sacks, cut out a dress, and sew it up. She made aprons too. The plain white sacks would be hemmed into dish towels with my grandmother embroidering them into the days of the week. I remember wearing many a "sack" dress. No one considered it embarrassing back then - it was a way of life. Have we come a long way? Yes, we have but sometimes I am not so sure it is for the best (my personal opinion). We've lost the "wonder" of innocence, of loyalty, of faith, and the list goes on and on (but I'll hush).

THE FLOUR SACK by Colleen B. Hubert

In that long ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item, was the flour sack.

Pillsbury’s Best, Mother’s and Gold Medal, too

Stamped their names proudly in purple and blue.
The strings sewn on top were pulled and kept;
The flour emptied and spills were swept.
The bag was folded and stored in a sack
That durable, practical flour sack.

The sack could be filled with feathers and down,
For a pillow, or would make a nice sleeping gown.
It could carry a book and be a school bag,
Or become a mail sack slung over a nag.
It made a very convenient pack,
That adaptable, cotton flour sack.

Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers, or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips.
And mom braided rugs from one hundred strips

She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack,

From that humble but treasured flour sack.

As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use,
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,

To help mother roll up a jelly cake,
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack.

As dish towels, embroidered or not,

They covered up dough, helped pass pans so hot,

Tied up dishes for neighbors in need,
And for men out in the field to carry seed,

They dried our dishes from pan, not rack
That absorbent handy flour sack.

We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable,
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October (a scary ghost)

And a parachute for a cat named Jack.
From that lowly, useful old flour sack.

So now my friends, when they ask you

As curious youngsters often do,
“Before plastic wrap, Elmer’s Glue

And paper towels, What did you do?”
Tell them loudly and with pride don’t lack,
“Grandmother had that wonderful flour sack.”

Please Lord, let my walk with You be as versatile, as durable, as adaptable, and as useful as a flour sack.

Girls in picture whose dresses have floral patterns were made from flour (or feed) sacks.

Colors were bright and cheery as seen in the patches.


Anonymous said...

I Love This ! I Think i'll write this down. So many people need to read this.

Kathy McElhaney said...

I have dish towels that my Grandma embroidered more than 20 years ago and they are still the best towels!

Karen Hopper said...

Kathy,I have old ones too so mine are probably older than yours cause my grandma would have been older. LOL