With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary,
Many unpaid bills and letters
from my local big-box store —
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping,
rapping at my office door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered,
“tapping at my office door —
Only this and nothing more.”
Hard it was to count my blessings; tired, I was still obsessing,
Worried sick about the morrow. Vainly I had sought to borrow
Backhoes, skid steers, excavators — tools I needed for the pour,
For the concrete pour tomorrow — (deadline I could not ignore).
Daily problems now beset me, avalanching, more and more:
Ibuprophen — still I’m sore.
Was I cheerful? No sir! no sir! — Christmas looming ever closer,
Weather’s yucky; snow is sopping; idiots and fools are shopping.
From Seattle to Atlanta, every corner has a Santa.
My financial state was dire; unpaid bills were piling higher;
Christmas carols always blaring — with these woes, I was past caring.
Ibuprophen! I need more!
Now the wind was loudly whipping through the leaky entry door,
Reminding me the weatherstripping had worn out — it was no more.
“When will I have time to seal up holes through which the breezes pour?
Air that seeks the unsealed cracks, the leaky window, broken door?
As the stack effect gets stronger, fuel bills increase more and more.
Chills affect me to my core.”
Soberly assessing matters, with my business all in tatters,
(Thinking, in my leaky hovel: “Am I in a Dickens novel?”)
Saddened by my future prospects — still I saw the comic aspects
As I heard the gentle tapping, rapping at my office door.
Winter winds were cruelly nipping, tearing at my…