Ella Kastning

Like Dr. Best who rumbled
behind horse and buggy
to examine your limp child
and hang the quarantine sign,
the milkman negotiated mud streets
with wagon, pail, and funnel,
searching for signs his wares were wanted.
"Auntie would put out a ticket
for how much milk she wanted."

Ella boarded with her aunt
to take Confirmation classes
at St. Peter's Lutheran School.
Best fun was school picnics
at Kastning farm on Rohlwing Road.

Little did she think
she would go one day a bride
to Kastning farm, share the chores,
milk the cows.
"You got up at five, dressed your baby,
put her in the carriage,
and pushed her to the bar.

"You milked
and poured the milk in cans,
cooled it in the stream
that ran through the milk house.
We were lucky
to have a stream to get it cold."
But it was no picnic.

Marjorie Allen

Schoolmarm arrogant, she emitted
the bouquet of entitlement,
had the airs of someone with a pony cart in a town
where most kids were grateful for oatmeal.
She and her English-born
carpenter/contractor husband Jack
selected elements from a plan book
to build an unprecedented
self-enclosed brick manse
at Highland and Hawthorne,
on the north boundary of her
father's three acres.
The first breezeway in Arlington Heights
gave them the sweep of yard and garden
between her home and father's
without the neighborly accessibility
of a front porch.
Once she'd waited
on Dunton's wooden sidewalk
in her black cotton stockings
for good friend Lydia Hausam
on her way to North School.
Once Jack was gone, she waited
on no woman.
Or man.