I wrote this a year and a half ago during some major construction going on outside of my office.
My apologies to Poe.
Once upon a midday dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of ways to stall —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my office wall.
“ ’Tis some contstruction,” I muttered, “tapping at my office wall —
Only this and that is all.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the yellow April;
And each separate scritching and scratching it’s scraping on my stall.
Eagerly I wished the silence; — rarely had I thought of violence
These tools test my benevolence — my patience about to fall —
Tapping below, behind, beside, I wish I had some alcohol—
Instead I hide in the hall.
And the shifting, loud, uncertain digging of each hardhat worker
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors that it might all fall;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ’Tis some construction, no threat of entrance at my office wall —
Some damn construction threatening entrance at my office wall; —
This it is and that is all.”
The present sound grew stranger; worried that I’m in danger,
“Sir,” said I, “Some quiet is all I ask. Stop the digging, y’all;
Because the fact is I was working, and often you are rapping,
And so loudly you came tapping, tapping at my office wall,
Despite that I’m in the basement” — how were they behind my wall; ——
Dirt is there and that is all.
Deep into that darkness hearing, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Dreaming of collapse and then burial, in this room I felt so small;
And the silence was all broken, but the hammers left me frozen,
And the concern not spoken was the fear that it might fall
Though the construction continued it held strong and did not fall —
The sound was loud, that is all.
Back into my office working, the noise still disconcerting,
Soon again I heard a tapping as they worked to reinstall.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that noise can’t go all day;
Let me ask, then, how long will this take? Let me make a call —
I call to ask what did they break; do I need to fear my wall?—
Looks like someone dropped the ball.