Ellis Parker Butler

(5 December 1869 - 13 September 1937 / Muscatine / Iowa / United States)

A Question - Poem by Ellis Parker Butler

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Whene’er I feed the barnyard folk
My gentle soul is vexed;
My sensibilities are torn
And I am sore perplexed.

The rooster so politely stands
While waiting for his food,
But when I feed him, what a change!
He then is rough and rude.

He crowds his gentle wives aside
Or pecks them on the head;
Sometimes I think it would be best
If he were never fed.

And so I often stand for hours
Deciding which is right—
To impolitely have enough,
Or starve and be polite.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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