The Poetry Corner

The Visitor

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Little lady at de do', W'y you stan' dey knockin'? Nevah seen you ac' befo' In er way so shockin'. Don' you know de sin it is Fu' to git my temper riz Wen I 's got de rheumatiz An' my jints is lockin'? No, ol' Miss ain't sont you down, Don' you tell no story; I been seed you hangin' 'roun' Dis hyeah te'itory. You des come fu' me to tell You a tale, an' I ain'--well-- Look hyeah, what is dat I smell? Steamin' victuals? Glory! Come in, Missy, how you do? Come up by de fiah, I was jokin', chile, wid you; Bring dat basket nighah. Huh uh, ain't dat lak ol' Miss, Sen'in' me a feas' lak dis? Rheumatiz cain't stop my bliss, Case I's feelin' spryah. Chicken meat an' gravy, too, Hot an' still a-heatin'; Good ol' sweet pertater stew; Missy b'lieves in treatin'. Des set down, you blessed chile, Daddy got to t'ink a while, Den a story mek you smile Wen he git thoo eatin'.