Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE COFFEE MY MOTHER USED TO MAKE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: I was born in indiany,' says a stranger, lank and slim
Last Line: "but,"" wipin' of his eyes, says he, ""yet coffee's mighty hot!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Variant Title(s): Like His Mother Used To Make
Subject(s): Coffee; Mothers
("Uncle Jake's Place," St. Jo, Missouri, 1'74)
"I WAS born in Indiany," says a stranger, lank and slim,
As us fellers in the restarunt was kind o' guyin' him,
And Uncle Jake was slidin' him another punkin pie
And a' extry cup o' coffee, with a twinkle in his eye,--
"I was born in Indiany--more'n forty year' ago--
And I hain't be'n back in twenty--an' I'm workin' back'ards slow;
But I've et in ever' restarunt 'twixt here and Santy Fee,
And I want to state this coffee tastes like gittin' home, to me!
"Pour us out another, Daddy," says the feller, warmin' up,
A-speakin' 'crost a saucerful, as Uncle tuk his cup,--
"When I seed yer sign out yander," he went on, to Uncle Jake,--
" 'Come in and git some coffee like yer mother used to make,'--
I thought of my old mother, and the Posey County farm,
And me a little kid ag'in, a-hangin' in her arm,
As she set the pot a-bilin', broke the eggs and poured 'em in"--
And the feller kind o' halted, with a trimble in his chin:
And Uncle Jake he fetched the feller's coffee back, and stood
As solemn, fer a minute, as a' undertaker would;
Then be sort o' turned and tiptoed to'rds the kitchen door--and nex',
Here comes his old wife out with him, a-rubbin' of her specs--
And she rushes fer the stranger, and she hollers out, "It's him!--
Thank God we've met him comin'!--Don't you know yer mother, Jim?"
And the feller, as he grabbed her, says,-- "You bet I hain't forgot--
But," wipin' of his eyes, says he, "yet coffee's mighty hot!"
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