Definitely Not “The Raven”
Once upon a noontime dreary, while I pondered— eyes so bleary,
Over the cushiony softness of the paper— nothing more,
While I gently felt its napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at the bathroom door.
“It’s my husband,” then I muttered, “tapping at the bathroom door—
Only this and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember, it was muggy that September,
And the socks of a family member lay like lovers on the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow, when my husband said he’d borrow
Our next door neighbour’s Toro, to cut the lawn for sure,
For the ragweed and its pollen had choked me up for sure—
We, as yet, were lawnmower-less and poor.
The crinkly plastic rustling of the purple shower curtain
Thrilled me— filled me with fantastic terrors often felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I sat repeating
“You didn’t hear a cockroach run! You didn’t hear a cockroach run!
You didn’t hear a cockroach run towards the bathroom door—
It’s a daydream, nothing more.”
Presently my voice grew stronger, and I called out loud and louder,
“Honey, are you there right now, outside the bathroom door?
’Cause I’m sure I heard a tapping. Was that you? Were you just tapping?
Was that you? Were you just tapping … tapping at the bathroom door?
If you’re there right now, please open up the door!
Silence there and nothing more.
Round about the four walls peering, long I sat there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the shadows gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were, “You really can’t be sure.”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back then “can’t be sure.”
Merely this and nothing more.
Arising then and turning, all my thoughts within me churning,
I flushed, and heard a tapping somewhat louder than before;
I said, “I’m such a dummy! Sounds like problems with the plumbing
’Cause I know the pipes are crummy, so this mystery I’ll explore,
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery I’ll explore;
It’s the pipes and nothing more.”
Open then I flung the curtain of the shower to be certain
And there stood a rubber ducky from the five and ten-cent store.
Not a bit of quacking made he; not a squeak or squawking made he;
But like Donald Duck or Daisy, perched upon my shower floor—
Perched upon a bar of Life Boy, on the slippery shower floor—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this yellow bird beguiling my bad headache into smiling,
By the goofy grin and fat pink lips his rubber duck bill wore,
“’Cause your head is smooth and yellow you’re a funny little fellow
Silly yellow rubber ducky from the five and ten cent store;
Tell me what your game is ’cause I heard a noise for sure,”
But the tapping was no more.
Much I feared I’d lost my marbles, to discourse thus so plainly,
With a little rubber ducky from the five and ten cent store,
And I’m sure they’d be agreeing if most any human being
Had ever heard me mutter as I knelt by shower floor,
“Oh bird, heard you the tapping? Here, on lonely shower floor?
Now the tapping is no more.”
But the ducky, sitting mutely on his soap bar, perched so cutely;
Seemed so permanently planted like a bust from days of yore,
’Til the shower started dripping, and his soap bar perch went slipping,
Slipping, sliding in the dripping, upon the shower floor,
Dripping, sliding, slipping, sliding, all around the shower floor.
Still the tapping was no more.
Bored enough to stay there watching, shower’s dripping, water dropping;
“Doubtless,” said I, “this ducky from the five and ten cent store
Has no pond to do its dipping, but in shower’s dripping, dripping,
Yellow ducky does his slipping from tiled shore to shore.
I wonder is it draining, journeying thus from shore to shore?
’Til he slips and slides no more?”
Then with goofy grin beguiling on his yellow duck bill smiling,
He loudly taps his bill upon the shower’s tiled-wall-shore.
With every drop that drips on him his body bobs and tips on him.
Dripping, tapping, tipping, tapping, tipping, tapping, tipping,
Could this all mean something more? –Then suddenly, in Morse code,
He speaks! – “I am Lenore.”