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white river poems 405
What one does here,
is listen
with the rest.
the snow would drift so deep.
We built a new house in a place
that the wind used to sweep bare,
right on the brow of the hill.
Say, did the wind blow there!
She pauses briefl y, and another woman begins
speaking in a plain, defi nite manner, but the
fi rst speaker, evidently not hearing her, has
resumed, and the other gives way
... Papa was an insurance agent,
civil engineer, had studied law,
and had studied some medicine.
He surveyed all the fi rst roads,
ditches, and ranch boundary lines
all through that country.
He was also Justice of the Peace.
When anybody was sick in that country
they sent for him, there were no doctors.
His medical supplies were kept in a box
eighteen inches long, twelve inches wide,
and six inches deep. It was partitioned
for vials of certain basic medicines.
He had aconite, and belladonna,
and other medicines. He would put a few drops
in half a glass of water, and give it
a teaspoon at a time, every half hour.
If the patient was real sick, he stayed
till they began to get better,
sometimes all night, or maybe longer.
My father delivered many a baby
in that country. I remember once
they sent for him to come over
on Red Dirt, somewhere. The snow
was deep, and he had to snow-shoe
ten miles to get there. He was gone