Olden Times

by Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers

I told my mother about a monkey,
And she said,
"Goodness, gracious, pumpkin pie.
How that carries me back, oh my.
When: I was a child in Peach Tree Valley,
Around our town I would sally.
In summertime, the green and golden summertime
And there was the monkey and the monikey man.
The monkey man would grind gay tures
In the long long summer afternoons
The dressed up monkey would dance,
The dressed up mornkey would prance
Dancing and prancing he would bow and scrape,
And hold out his cap for money.
Children would laugh and put in his cap
Pennies and nickels, quarters and dimes.
For a dime, he would shake hands
And tip his cap to the monkey man.
For a quarter he started all over
Bowing and scraping as the monkey man grinned
to the sound of sweet tunes
In the golden green of the afternoons.
My mother's voice was sad and gay
As she talked of olden times, so far away.
I asked what happened to the monkey and the monkey
Drink your milk, darling. I do not know,
lt was such a long. long time ago

Sweet as a Pickle and Clean as a Pig, (1964)

Last updated February 21, 2023