A Goodbye Poem for a Friend

A Goodbye Poem for a Friend

The Raven Maven

A knockoff for Ali

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I graded, weak and weary,
Picking sentences apart so much my head had grown fell sore—
While I nodded, not quite snoring, suddenly there came a roaring,
Like some raging bull was goring, goring my poor chamber door.
“’Tis some tipsy dolt,” I muttered, “roaring at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

“Yet,” I thought, “perhaps I’d better see if it’s my feather duster
Come at last from Amazon.” I stood and shuffled to the door,
Open flung the inner shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a lissome Raven, strutting spritely ’cross the floor;
In her beak she bore a pencil, rowan berry red its core—
Only this and nothing more.

Up upon my desk she hopped, and dropped the pencil on the pile;
Then she sleekly flapped her wings and perched above my chamber door—
Thereupon began to speak in somewhat criticizing style:
“Just you look and see what punctuation marks you’ve missed. And more—
There’s a modifier dangling! I can see it from this door.”
Stung, I asked, “And nothing more?”

Then began a list of errors, longer than the coast of Chile;
She was right, I’d missed so many, every page had ten or more:
Colons, question marks, and hyphens, verbs and subjects disagreeing;
Some, however, came from ancient times, from long-forgotten lore—
“Times have changed,” I muttered, glancing at my chamber door—
“Times have changed, and nothing more.”

Finally, she quieted, then fluttered down onto my shoulder;
There she perched a moment like some siren from a distant shore.
“Little,” she said, “will it cost to cast on words an eye that’s colder;
Stick to rules, my friend. And keep the pencil. Learn to use it more.”
Then she fluttered up, intoning as she passed my chamber door—
“Honor grammar evermore!”


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