Pepin, Wisconsin’s most famous writer is Laura Ingalls Wilder, but there are other published writers who lived there. Elizabeth Clarke Hardy published this poem in 1918. I really enjoyed it and think it shows a great little piece of the homefront. I hope you enjoy it too.
His Girl in Overalls
Well, yes, the kid’s enlisted,
We expected that you know;
When he heard the call to colors
Of course he’d want to go.
An’ we’re proud, an’ glad an’ sorry,
For the lad’s our pride and joy,
An’ his mother – well you know mothers,
an’ he was our only boy.
An’ I – well there’s no denying,
I depended on the lad,
For he’s always been a sight of help
An’ comfort to his dad;
But I never fully realized
how much I’d miss the scamp
Till I started for the barn alone,
The mornin’ he left for camp.
I was feelin’ pretty lonesome,
An’ somehow my eyes were dim,
When I saw someone a stand’ there,
I really thought was Jim;
But before I’d time to speculate,
My little daughter calls,
“Say, Dad, how do you like me
In my brand new overalls?”
She had the team all harnessed
An’ had hitched them to the plow;
“I’ve tried to do it, Dad,” she said:
Just as Jamie showed me how,
I’m not needed in the house you know,
For Mother she has Sue,
An’ so I’m goin’ to do my bit,
Out in the field with you,
We’ve got to send our boys to war,
An’ feed the people, too,
an’ it’s up to Uncle Samuel’s girls
To show what they can do.”
Then she climbed up on the tractor
An’ drove away on that –
My little gal in overalls an’
Jamie’s old straw hat.
An’, Sir, you’d be surprised to see
The things that gal can do,
An’ how she works with might an’ main
To help put things through;
An’ I guess we needn’t worry, Sir,
When Uncle Samuel calls,
He can trust his boys in khaki,
An’ his girls in overalls.
The Pepin County Historical Society sells a biography of Hardy if you’d like to learn more about her.