The Poetry Corner

A Confidence

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Uncle John, he makes me tired; Thinks 'at he's jest so all-fired Smart, 'at he kin pick up, so, Ever'thing he wants to know. Tried to ketch me up last night, But you bet I would n't bite. I jest kep' the smoothes' face, But I led him sich a chase, Could n't corner me, you bet-- I skipped all the traps he set. Makin' out he wan'ed to know Who was this an' that girl's beau; So 's he 'd find out, don't you see, Who was goin' 'long with me. But I answers jest ez sly, An' I never winks my eye, Tell he hollers with a whirl, "Look here, ain't you got a girl?" Y' ought 'o seen me spread my eyes, Like he 'd took me by surprise, An' I said, "Oh, Uncle John, Never thought o' havin' one." An' somehow that seemed to tickle Him an' he shelled out a nickel. Then you ought to seen me leave Jest a-laffin' in my sleeve. Fool him--well, I guess I did; He ain't on to this here kid. Got a girl! well, I guess yes, Got a dozen more or less, But I got one reely one, Not no foolin' ner no fun; Fur I 'm sweet on her, you see, An' I ruther guess 'at she Must be kinder sweet on me, So we 're keepin' company. Honest Injun! this is true, Ever' word I 'm tellin' you! But you won't be sich a scab Ez to run aroun' an' blab. Mebbe 't ain't the way with you, But you know some fellers do. Spoils a girl to let her know 'At you talk about her so. Don't you know her? her name 's Liz, Nicest girl in town she is. Purty? ah, git out, you gilly-- Liz 'ud purt 'nigh knock you silly. Y' ought 'o see her when she 's dressed All up in her Sunday best, All the fellers nudgin' me, An' a-whisperin', gemunee! Betcher life 'at I feel proud When she passes by the crowd. 'T 's kinder nice to be a-goin' With a girl 'at makes some showin'-- One you know 'at hain't no snide, Makes you feel so satisfied. An' I 'll tell you she 's a trump, Never even seen her jump Like some silly girls 'ud do, When I 'd hide and holler "Boo!" She 'd jest laff an' say "Git out! What you hollerin' about?" When some girls 'ud have a fit That 'un don't git skeered a bit, Never makes a bit o' row When she sees a worm er cow. Them kind 's few an' far between; Bravest girl I ever seen. Tell you 'nuther thing she 'll do, Mebbe you won't think it 's true, But if she 's jest got a dime She 'll go halvers ever' time. Ah, you goose, you need n't laff; That's the kinder girl to have. If you knowed her like I do, Guess you 'd kinder like her too. Tell you somep'n' if you 'll swear You won't tell it anywhere. Oh, you got to cross yer heart Earnest, truly, 'fore I start. Well, one day I kissed her cheek; Gee, but I felt cheap an' weak, 'Cause at first she kinder flared, 'N', gracious goodness! I was scared. But I need n't been, fer la! Why, she never told her ma. That's what I call grit, don't you? Sich a girl's worth stickin' to.