Dust by Sydney King Russell


Agatha Morley
All her life
Grumbled at dust
Like a good wife.

Dust on a table,
Dust on a chair,
Dust on a mantel
She couldn’t bear.

She forgave faults
In man and child
But a dusty shelf
Would set her wild.

She bore with sin
Without protest,
But dust thoughts preyed
Upon her rest.

Agatha Morley
Is sleeping sound
Six feet under
The mouldy ground.

Six feet under
The earth she lies
With dust at her feet
And dust in her eyes.

-Sydney King Russell

Borrowed from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

Posted on September 26, 2010, in Beloved Childhood Poems and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I have been looking for this poem for the last 39yrs. I remembered her name and dust and that was it. I came upon your site by googling the two things I knew. I did that years ago but to no avail. Thank you very much. jude

    • Hi Jude, thanks so much for your comment. I’m so glad that I posted that poem here so that you could find it. It means a lot to me. :)

      • I’m with Jude. I first heard this poem as part of a collection of spooky poetry on a 45 RPM record that I got from the Scholastic Book Club, like, 40 years ago. The vinyl is long gone, but Agatha has stuck with me. I have always remembered the poem imperfectly, and am very happy to find it on-line. A young friend of mine, a couple years ago, said, “There is no excuse for ignorance when information is literally a fingertip away”. So, I finally Googled it. Presto. Ah, the wonders of our modern age.

  2. I am currently doing an analysis on this poem for my LIT2000 class and was wondering if you knew of any sites that I could obtain quotes from other reviews? This is one hard poem to find material on. Thanks.

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