XIX. I Started Early, Took My Dog


I started early, took my dog,
And visited my tub;
The duckies in the closet
Came out to look at me,

And paper boats along the lip
Extended folded hands,
Presuming me to be a house
That could move itself around.

But no man saw me till the waterline
Went past my simple shoe,
And past my apron and my belt,
And past my bodice too,

And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as a dew
Upon a dandelion’s sleeve—
And then I started too.

And then I jumped and ran
And dripped from head to heel
Upon the street—then my neighbors
Heard, and wondered at my squeal.

Until I met the solid town,
No man had seen me yet.
But once they saw, they turned away,
Ashamed—the clothes, and me, all wet!


Her final draft.


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