By Joann M. Ringelstetter
Two years ago in Iowa,
On a beautiful summer’s day,
Ruth hoped to find a calaboose
And tried to point the way.
“A calaboose? What’s that?” I asked;
Ruth smiled as she replied,
“It’s like a prison or a jail,
To hold bad folks inside.”
So through the town we slowly drove,
Looking left and right,
We stretched our necks, Ruth checked her notes,
But no calaboose in sight.
“Maybe it’s not in town,” I said.
“We’d better ask someone.
Otherwise, we’ll waste our time,
And search ‘til the setting sun.
So I asked a woman who jokingly said,
“Do you have a relative there?”
Then she told us we’d passed it a minute ago
And started to tell me where.
“Go back one block and take a right,
You’ll see some kids playing near,
And maybe if we locked THEM up,
There'd be more peace around here.”
The woman was only kidding, of course,
And the jail was easy to find;
It was made of stone with a rounded top,
For our collection, the first of its kind.
It looked empty inside and was locked up tight,
As it was at the time of its use,
And I no longer needed to wonder and ask,
“What the heck is a calaboose?”