When Nobody Listens

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_At not at all infrequent spells
  I hear--and so do you--
The tales that everybody tells
  And no one listens to._

"You talk about excitement. Well
Last summer, up at Silver Dell,
Jim Brown and I took a canoe
And paddled out a mile or two.
When we left shore the sun was out--
Serenest day, beyond a doubt,
I ever saw. When suddenly
It thunders, and a heavy sea
Comes up. 'I'm goin' to jump,' says Jim.
He jumps. I don't know how to swim,
And I was scared..."

  "You ought to see
My kid. He's great! He isn't three.
But smart? Last night his mother said,
As she was putting him to bed,
'Tom, are you sleepy?' Well, the kid--
What d'ye think he up and did?
Laugh? Honestly, we nearly died!
He said:..."

  "Last week I had a ride
As was a ride! We took my car
And ran her over night so far
We had to stop. Just as we came
To this side of North Burlingame,
We tore a shoe; the left front wheel
Got loose and . . . "

  "Did you ever feel
That dogs were human? Well, there's Bruce,
My collie--brighter than the deuce!
Just talk in ordinary tones--
A joke, he barks, speak sad, he moans,
The other day I said to him,
'Here, Bruce, take this to Uncle Jim,'
And gave . . . "

  "We've really got the best
And cheapest flat in town. On West
Two-Forty-Third Street. That ain't far--
The subway, then the Yonkers car--
An hour, perhaps a little more.
I leave the house at 7.04--
I'm in the office every day
At nine o'clock. Six rooms are all
We have, if you don't count the hall--
Though it is bigger far than most
The rooms I've seen. I hate to boast
About my flat; but . . . "

  "Say, I've got
The greatest, newest, finest plot--
Dramatic, humorous, and fresh--
And, though I'm not in the profesh,
I'll back this little play of mine
Against Pinero, Fitch, or Klein.
Sure fire! A knockout! It can't miss!
The plot of it begins like this:
The present time--that's what they've got
To have--and then a modern plot.
Jack Hammond, hero, loves a girl:
Extremely jealous of an earl.
The earl, however... "

  Why contin-
Ue types that flourish _adinfin_?

_O tuneless chimes!  O worn-out bells!
  I hear--and so do you--
The tales that everybody tells
  But no one listens to._

© Franklin Pierce Adams