Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Keys to the Car

The keys to the car! Oh, the keys to the car,
What a terrible, horrible burden they are!
Whenever we travel
The concrete or gravel,
Or visit the neighbors or go as we please,
I start to fumble
And foolishly mumble
This query: “Oh, what did I do with the keys?”

I go through my pockets like mad on the quest,
I go through my trousers, my coat and my vest—
I’ve keys for the clock
And the doors that I lock,
I’ve keys I possess and don’t know what they are,
I’ve keys for the closet,
The safety deposit—But what did I do with the keys to the car?

I’ve gloves and I’ve papers, I’ve letters and bills
And all of the stuff that a man’s pocket fills,
I’ve matches, a token,
A knife that is broken,
The mangled remains of a ruined cigar,
I’ve loose paper-clippers
And finger-nail snippers—
But where, yes, oh where, are the keys to the car?

Nell asks: “Are you sure?” and I answer her:
Never mind your suggestions, I tell you I had ‘em!
Just look at me pleasantly,
I’ll find ‘em presently,
They’re somewhere about me and cannot be far;
They’re here, that’s conclusive,
Not lost—just elusive,
Just wait till I find ‘em—those keys to the car.”

-Edgar A. Guest

(I guess some things haven't changed since 1928!)

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