Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BENTON HARBOR, MICH, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING

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BENTON HARBOR, MICH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sometimes I ain't a thing to do, an' so jist for
Last Line: Benton harbor, mich.
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben
Subject(s): Michigan

SOMETIMES I ain't a thing to do, an' so jist for the nonce,
I think of things I didn't see out on Midway Plaisance.
Although they claimed 'at every tribe an' nation, seems to me,
Was represented, yit there's some I simply didn't see.
I went all through the Cairo Street, an' saw the Luxor great,
I saw the South Sea Islanders an' them from Congo State,
I saw the Patagonians, but, durn it all, my wish
Was more to see them funny folks from
Benton Harbor, Mich.

I took in all the bildin's that was prom'nent on the grounds,
Got in with a C'lumbian guard and we jist went the rounds.
I says to him, "I'm here this week to take the hull thing in;
I might not git a chance to go against the thing agin.
Outside o' horterculture an' some o' the smaller fruits
I want to see them Wolverines at's still a-wearin' boots.
So don' show me no minin' er animals er fish,
I'd rather see them curios from
Benton Harbor, Mich."

What d' I care for foreign folks 'at come from pagan lands?
I've heerd an' read enough of Paig, an' heerd the tom-tom bands.
I've seen enough of Egypt, 'n Algiers, 'nd ancient Rome,
An' now I'm jist a-spilin' for somepin' right 'round home.
Why, gosh all Friday! Take yer Turks an' all yer foreign kit,
I want to see them Wolverines, an' I ain't seen 'em yit;
Old Michigan I'm after; seems as if I heerd the swish
Of breakers like I used to in
Benton Harbor, Mich.
So comin' out from there I says, "We'll take another route;
Course you may know your bizness, but I know what I'm about.
I'm on a hunt fer friends jist now, not Japs er Javanese,
Or sore-eyed Esquimaux, er Coons, er bias-eyed Chinese.
I've heerd enough of 'Hot! hot! hot!' gotfrightened at the roar
'Round Hagenbeck's, an' shook hands with the Sultan of Johore,
Until I'm simply tired out, an' now my only wish
Is jist to see them old-time folks from
Benton Harbor, Mich."

I walked till I got dusty an' thought I'd like to wash,
When lookin' up I saw a tower -- 't was Michigan, by gosh!
"Come on," I says, "I'll show you now some folks you never saw,
Human bein's from Muskegon, Dowagiac, an' Saginaw;
Them folks 'at raises celery 'way out in Kal'mazoo,
Cassopolis, an' Globeville, an' Ypsilanti, too --
St. Joe an' Berrien Centre." I guess I got my wish,
I jined the jays an' we went back to
Benton Harbor, Mich.

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