When I was a little girl, growing up in Ware Shoals, SC, I often heard my parents speak of “Fessor Camak”. He was a well-respected gentleman in the community and a fine poet. One of my dad’s favorites was Laurels. Good lesson for all of us!
Laurels by Marion Boyd Camak
Somebody told me that I was good,
And I believed what they said,
And thought I would
Rest on the laurels I had won.
So I took a nice seat up in the sun,
That fellows not so lucky as I
Might be inspired as they staggered by.
And there I sat, with pride in myself
Like a brand new trinket on a brand new shelf,
And slept on the job, like I thought I could, –
For hadn’t they told me I was good?
But I awoke one day, and with surprise
I found no worshiping human eyes
Beholding me in my lofty space.
They all seemed turned to another place
And centered on to another chap,
With a workman’s apron on his lap,
And grime and sweat upon his face,
At work out there in my old place.
I swaggered down with a lordly air
And strutted to where they were, out there.
They looked at me, and then they said
It’s old Bill Hicks; we thought you were dead.