Jean A. Mathisen

We ladies asked for a new church that year--
the town was new-foaled,
wild and sprawling out
like a pesky young colt.
Twenty-one saloons they boasted.
Wild roaring, rip-snorting--
and we had to meet in one
to have our church.
Now if a town is going to survive
then God-fearing must be upheld--
and most likely, not in a saloon!
So we held a box social
and we ladies had the local cavalry
teach us the basics of the manual of arms--
and we put on a broom drill--
first we had to use the brooms
to chase our menfolk from the saloons
to attend the dance.

Well, the town survived
and so did all twenty-one saloons.
We have our church though--
the livery stable is no more,
and a cross graces its roof.
The men are back to the evils of drink.
And we ladies have invited
a female crusader and her axe to town,
to cut us a little kindling.


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