Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DAY AND THE SHINGLE, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING



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THE DAY AND THE SHINGLE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The day is done and the spanker
Last Line: And silently steal away.
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben


THE day is done and the spanker,
So oft in the hands of mother,
Is soon to be wafted downward
On little red-headed brother.

I can hear the fall of the shingle
And poor little brother's refrain,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That seems to resemble a pain.

A feeling of sadness and sorrow
That must be akin to pain,
It resembles a seated sorrow
That boyhood can only explain.

So I hie me away to the attic
And put on a few pair of pants,
And wedge in a big paper bustle
Belonging to one of my aunts.

I can see the lights of the village,
And also the deep muddy pool,
Where often I ducked little brother
After the close of school.

But she calls me down from the attic
And asks me to take off my clothes,
With her able-bodied assistance
I get myself ready to pose.

I take a recumbent position,
The shingle then comes into play,
Johnnie sits down in a corner
And watches the sad matinee.

As she presses her thin lips together
I feel that at every rebound
She puts on a vermilion finish
Where my back forms sort of a mound.

Such things have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
But it makes it rather uneasy
To sit on a hard-bottom chair.

Come read to me some poem,
Some "Favorite Prescription" lay,
That will soothe this restless feeling
And take the stinger away.

Read from some humbler poet
A poem that relieves --
Something that's cold and frigid,
From Wilcox or Amelie Rives.

And the kitchen shall cease its sobbing,
And the cares that infest the day
Will quietly fold their breeches
And silently steal away.





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