The Flour Sack
by Colleen B. Hubert, taken from The Lutheran Digest, Fall 2008
In that long-ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item was the flour sack.
Pillsbury’s Best, Mother’s and Gold Medal, too
Stamped their names proudly in purple and blue.
The string sewn on top was pulled and kept;
The flour was emptied and spills were swept.
The bag was folded and stored in a sack,
That durable, practical flour sack.
The sack could be filled with feathers and down
For a pillow, or t’would make a nice sleeping gown.
It could carry a book and be a school bag
Or become a mail sack slung over a nag.
It made a very convenient pack,
That adaptable, cotton flour sack.
Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers, or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips
And Mom braided rugs from one hundred strips.
She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack,
From that humble but treasured flour sack!
As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use.
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,
To help Mother roll up a jelly cake.
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack!
As dish towels, embroidered or not,
They covered up dough, helped pass pans so hot;
Tied up dishes for neighbors in need,
And for men out in the field to seed.
They dried dishes from pan, not rack,
That absorbent, handy flour sack!
We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable.
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October (a scary ghost)
And a parachute for a cat named Jack,
From that lowly, useful old flour sack!
So now, my friends, when they ask you,
As curious youngsters often do,
“Before plastic wrap, Elmer’s glue
And paper towels, what did you do?”
Tell them loudly and with pride don’t lack,
“Grandmother had that wonderful flour sack!”