James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Way It Wuz - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Las' July--an', I persume
'Bout as hot
As the ole Gran'-Jury room
Where they sot!--
Fight 'twixt Mike an' Dock McGriff--
'Pears to me jes' like as if
I'd a dremp' the whole blame thing--
Allus ha'nts me roun' the gizzard
When they're nightmares on the wing,
An' a feller's blood's jes' friz!
Seed the row from a to izzard--
'Cause I wuz a-standin' as clost to 'em
As me an' you is!

Tell you the way it wuz--
An' I do n't want to see,
Like _some_ fellers does,
When they 're goern to be
Any kind o' fuss--
On'y makes a rumpus wuss
Far to interfere
When their dander's riz--
But I wuz a-standin' as clost to 'em
As me an' you is!

I wuz kind o' strayin'
Past the blame saloon--
Heerd some fiddler playin'
That 'ole hee-cup tune!'
Sort o' stopped, you know,
Far a minit er so,
And wuz jes' about

Settin' down, when--_Jeemses-whizz!_
Whole durn winder-sash fell out!
An' there laid Doc McGriff, and Mike
A-straddlin' him, all bloody-like,
An' both a-gittin' down to biz!--
An' I wuz a-standin' as clost to 'em
As me an' you is!

I wuz the on'y man aroun'--
(Durn old-fogy town!
'Peared more like, to me,
_Sund'y_ 'an _Saturd'y!)_
Dog come 'crost the road
An' tuck a smell
An' put right back;
Mishler driv by 'ith a load
O' cantalo'pes he couldn't sell--
Too mad, 'y jack!
To even ast
What wuz up, as he went past!
Weather most outrageous hot!--
Fairly hear it sizz
Roun' Dock an' Mike--till Dock he shot,
An' Mike he slacked that grip o' his
An' fell, all spraddled out. Dock riz
'Bout half up, a-spittin' red,
An' shuck his head--
An' I wuz a-standin' as clost to 'em
As me an' you is!

An' Dock he says,
A-whisperin'-like,--
'It hain't no use
A-tryin'!--Mike
He's jes' ripped my daylights loose!--
Git that blame-don fiddler to
Let up, an' come out here--You
Got some burryin' to do,--
Mike makes _one_, an' I expects
In ten seconds I'll make _two_!'
And he drapped back, where he riz,
'Crost Mike's body, black and blue,
Like a great big letter X!--
An' I wuz a-standin' as clost to 'em
As me an' you is!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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