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Back in Thirty Two

Story ID:5979
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Person:Dimly Lit, Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Back in “Thirty Two”

When I was a tad
As near as I can remember
The only light we had at night
Was a glowing ember?

Out here on the farm
Far away from the city
On the Kansas Prairie
There was no electricity

We graduated to a
Kerosene lamp
Just enough light
To illuminate a postage stamp.

The wick always needed
To be trimmed
Globe was always sooty
Light was so dim

The yellow light was eerie
Lit about half of our living room
It made ghostly shadows
With its sickly plume.

Pour the coal oil very carefully
Not to spill a drop
Could cause a fire
One you couldn’t stop.

We carried a Kerosene Lantern
From the house to the barn
With a milk pail
On the other arm.

The light of the lantern
Was also a help to you
To keep from stepping
Into some cow do-do.

Then some guy named Coleman
Invented a lantern that used gas
With it’s funny looking mantles
With it’s globe of clear icing glass

We were in “Hawg Heaven”
No more gloom
The white light poured out
It filled the darkened corners of our room

Dad would pump the air tank
On the lantern, when the sun sat in the west
Light the little reservoir
Voila, this light was the best.

The lantern made a hissing noise
As it lit up the secretary
Where I could do my homework
Out here on the Kansas prairie.

Now, no more kerosene light
No Coleman lantern to be found
No more sooty globes
No more hissing sound.

I just click a switch
“Let there be light”
Thanks to Mr. Edison
No more dark at night.

Monte Manka 07-03-08