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The Germ Covered Bucket

From the Omaha Daily Bee, August 6, 1913.

How they sadden this heart, the scenes of my childhood,
    When dread recollection presents them to view—
Malarious meadows and dangerous wildwood,
    The place where the mushrooms, so poisonous grew;
The pond was a cesspool; the stable stood by it,
    Draining into the stream where the cataract fell;
The poultry yard sat with the dairy house nigh it;
    And that terrible bucket that hung in the well!
The fungus-grown bucket, the germ-laden bucket,
    The moss-covered bucket that hung in the well.

Poor dad was addicted to quinine and bitters,
    Poor mother was shaken with fever and chill—
And we buried ‘em both, the innocent critters,
    In the populous graveyard that bloomed on the hill—
The graveyard that gobbled the whole generation,
    That drained toward the house when the summer rain fell—
Sometimes I dream of my father’s plantation
    And wake with a scream when I think of that well!
And that terrible bucket, that death-dealing bucket,
    That germ-covered bucket that hung in the well.

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