The Tenant

In the style of ''The Raven'' by Edgar Allan Poe

by Steven McDougal

ONCE upon a muggy morning light in bed I had been snoring
Sleeping off a mild revelry from just the night before,
Lying sticky, mostly napping, when there came a heavy tapping
As of someone roughly rapping, rapping at my outer door.
Twas the tenant that my neighbor tosses outside some days before.
                      A silly sap, nothing more.

My sleep was fitful, I decry, that early stinking hot July.
Groggy, sweaty, I arose to see a scene outside my door.
Two days before this early morn when from his room he had been torn
was left upon my grassy lawn stuff in bags that numbered four.
                      Four bags of stuff, nothing more.

Evening came and went, then came dawn; the bags were still upon my lawn
bags of stuff my neighbor's tenant left but just the day before.
The weather forecast called for rain, so damp is all the stuff would gain
Outside upon my grassy plain. ''Best to bring them in the door,''
said my neighbor good at heart, right here, but thinking less than more.
                      Thinking here, now, less than more.

A note upon my window, left, decried he of his stuff bereft.
left the day before the morning rapping, tapping at my door.
''Where's my stuff?'' he asked me kindly. To the right I pointed blindly.
to the right I pointed blindly to my neighbor's outer door.
Without coffee in the morning do I blindly mind the store.
                      Need my coffee, something sore.

Cops and cruisers, paddy-wagon; neighbor scowling like a dragon.
Twice the cops were summoned, summoned to my neighbor lady's door.
First, of course, it was eviction, second rising from a fiction
'bout the final disposition of the bags that numbered four.
All he wanted was his stuff, his stuff he wanted, nothing more.
                      Quoth the tenant, ''Nothing more.''

My sleep had long since gone away. ''I need your phone, is that OK?''
Strangers in my house are vexing, vexing in the morning more.
At the door he stood there pleading, 'bout his bags of stuff was bleating,
'bout his bags of stuff was bleating, bags of stuff that numbered four.
Watched she from a window on that morning from the second floor.
                      She thought, I thought, nevermore.

Tenant and the cops together, in that muggy morning weather,
both were rapping, tapping hard upon my neighbor lady's door.
Of the scene she was eschewing, from the window silence spewing.
I from doorway, voyeur viewing, planning out the present score.
When they finally left, four bags came flying, flying through her door.
                      Needless folly, nothing more.

Despite the howls never quitting, bags are sitting, still are sitting
sodden, soaken, somewhat broken on my lawn of number four.
There they sit and molder. Will be fun when it gets colder
rolled and stacked and packed with snow or merely resting by the door
crowned around with festive lights for all the neighbors to adore.
                      Upon my lawn, evermore.

(See ''The Raven'' by Edgar Allan Poe.)

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