James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

The Little Fat Doctor


He seemed so strange to me, every way--
In manner, and form, and size,
From the boy I knew but yesterday,--
I could hardly believe my eyes!

To hear his name called over there,
My memory thrilled with glee
And leaped to picture him young and fair
In youth, as he used to be.

But looking, only as glad eyes can,
For the boy I knew of yore,
I smiled on a portly little man
I had never seen before!--

Grave as a judge in courtliness--
Professor-like and bland--
A little fat doctor and nothing less,
With his hat in his kimboed hand.

But how we talked old times, and 'chaffed'
Each other with 'Minnie' and 'Jim'---
And how the little fat doctor laughed,
And how I laughed with him!

'And it's pleasant,' I thought, 'though I yearn to see
The face of the youth that was,
To know no boy could smile on me
As the little fat doctor does!'

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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