Edgar Albert Guest

(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

What A Sick Woman Does - Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

ACONVALESCIN' woman does the strangest sort o' things,
An' it's wonderful the courage that a little new strength brings;
O, it's never safe to leave her for an hour or two alone,
Or you'll find th' doctor's good work has been quickly overthrown.
There's that wife o' mine, I reckon she's a sample of 'em all;
She's been mighty sick, I tell you, an' today can scarcely crawl,
But I left her jes' this mornin' while I fought potater bugs,
An' I got back home an' caught her in the back yard shakin' rugs.

I ain't often cross with Nellie, an' I let her have her way,
But it made me mad as thunder when I got back home that day
An' found her doin' labor that'd tax a big man's strength,
An' I guess I lost my temper/for I scolded her at length;
'Til I seen her tear drops fallin' anVshe said: ' I couldn't stand
T' see those rugs so dirty, so I took 'em all in hand,
An' it ain't hurt me nuther, see I 'm gettin' strong again — '
An' I said: ' Doggone it! Can't ye leave sich work as that fer men? '

Once I had her in a hospittle fer weeks an' weeks an' weeks,
An' she wasted most t' nothin', an' th' roses left her cheeks;
An' one night I feared I 'd l se her; 't was the turnin' point, I guess,
Coz th' next day I remember that th' doctor said: 'Success!'
Well, I brought her home an' told her that for two months she must stay
A-sitttn' in her rocker an' jes' watch th' kids at play;
An' th' first week she was patient, but I mind the way I swore
On th' day when I discovered 'at she 'd scrubbed th' kitchen floor.

O, you can't keep wimmin quiet an' they ain't a bit like men,
They 're hungerin' every minute jes' t' get t' work again;
An' you've got t' watch '«m allus, when you know they're weak an' ill,
Coz th' minute that yer back is turned they'll labor fit t' kill.
Th' house ain't cleaned t' suit 'em an' they seem t' fret an' fume
'Less they 're busy doin' somethin' with a mop or else a broom;
An' it ain't no use t' scold 'em an' it ain't no use t' swear,
Coz th' next time they will do it jes' the minute you ain't there.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 25, 2014

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