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Poem by Amy Lowell


Reaping


You want to know whatís the matter with me, do yer?
My! ainít men blinderín moles?
It ainít nothiní new, be sure oí that.
Why, ef youíd had eyes youíd haí seed
Me changiní under your very nose,
Each day a little diffírent.
But you never see nothiní, you donít.
Donít touch me, Jake,
Donít you darsít to touch me,
I ainít in no humour.
Thatís whatís come over me;
Jest a change clear through.
You lay still, aní Iíll tell yer,
Iíve had it on my mind to tell yer
Fer some time.
Itís a strain liviní a lie from morniní till night,
Aní Iím goiní to put an end to it right now.
Aní donít make any mistake about one thing,
When I married yer I loved yer.
Why, your voice íud make
Me go hot and cold all over,
Aní your kisses most stopped my heart from beatiní.
Lord!  I was a silly fool.
But thatís the way ítwas.
Well, I married yer
Aní thought Heavín was cominí
To set on the door-step.
Heavín didnít do no settiní,
Though the first year warnít so bad.
The babyís fever threw you off some, I guess,
Aní then I took her death real hard,
Aní a mopey wife kind oí disgusts a man.
I ainít blaminí yer exactly.
But thatís how ítwas.
Do lay quiet,
I know Iím slow, but itís harder to say ín I thought.
There come a time when I got to be
More wife agin than mother.
The mother part was sort of a waste
When we didnít have no other child.
But youíd got used ter lots oí things,
Aní you was all took up with the farm.
Manyís the time Iíve laid awake
Watchiní the moon go clear through the elm-tree,
Out oí sight.
Iíd foller yer around like a dog,
Aní set in the chair youíd beín settiní in,
Jest to feel its arms around me,
So longís I didnít have yours.
It preyed on me, I guess,
Longiní and longiní
While you was busy all day, and snoriní all night.
Yes, I know youíre wide awake now,
But now ainít then,
Aní I guess youíll think diffírent
When Iím done.
Do you mind the day you went to Hadrock?
I didnít want to stay home for reasons,
But you said someone íd have to be here
íCause Elmer was cominí to see tí thí telephone.
Aní you never see why I was so set on goiní with yer,
Our married life hadnít beín any great shakes,
Still marriage is marriage, aní I was raised God-feariní.
But, Lord, you didnít notice nothiní,
Aní Elmer hanginí around all Winter!
íTwas a lovely morniní.
The apple-trees was jest elegant
With their blossoms all flared out,
Aní there warnít a cloud in the sky.
You went, you wouldnít pay no ítention to what I said,
Aní I heard the Ford chugginí for most a mile,
The air was so still.
Then Elmer come.
Itís no use your frettiní, Jake,
Iíll tell you all about it.
I know what Iím doiní,
Aní whatís worse, I know what I done.
Elmer fixed thí telephone in about two minits,
Aní he didnít seem in no hurry to go,
Aní I donít know as I wanted him to go either,
I was awful mad at your not takiní me with yer,
Aní I was tired oí wishiní and wishiní
Aní gittiní no comfort.
I guess it ainít necessary to tell yer all the things.
He stayed to dinner,
Aní he helped me do the dishes,
Aní he said a home was a fine thing,
Aní I said dishes warnít a home
Nor yet the room theyíre in.
He said a lot oí things,
Aní I fended him off at first,
But he got talkiní all around me,
Clost up to the things Iíd beín thinkiní,
Whatís the use oí me goiní on, Jake,
You know.
He got all he wanted,
Aní I give it to him,
Aní whatís more, Iím glad!
I ainít dead, anyway,
Aní somebody thinks Iím somethiní.
Keep away, Jake,
You can kill me to-morrer if you want to,
But Iím goiní to have my say.
Funny thing!  Guess I ainít made to hold a man.
Elmer ainít beín here for morín two months.
I donít want to pretend nothiní,
Mebbe if heíd beín lately
I shouldnít have told yer.
Iíll go away in the morniní, oí course.
What you want the light fer?
I donít look no diffírent.
Ainít the moon bright enough
To look at a woman thatís deceived yer by?
Donít, Jake, donít, you canít love me now!
It ainít a question of forgiveness.
Why!  Iíd be thinkiní oí Elmer evíry minute;
It ainít decent.
Oh, my God!  It ainít decent any more either way!



Amy Lowell


Amy Lowell's other poems:
  1. The Fool Errant
  2. The Boston Athenaeum
  3. The Bungler
  4. Frankincense and Myrrh
  5. The Painter on Silk


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