Like His Mother Used To Make

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

"Uncle Jake's Place," St. Jo, Mo., 1874

"I was born in Indiany," says a stranger, lank and slim,
As us fellers in the restarunt was kindo' guyin' him,
And Uncle Jake was slidin' him another punkin pie
And a' extry cup o' coffee, with a twinkle in his eye.
"I was born in Indiany - more'n forty year' ago -
I hain't be'n back in twenty - and I'm workin' back'ards slow;
But I've et in ever' restarunt 'twixt here and Santy Fee,
And I want to state this coffee tastes like gittin' home, to me!"

"Pour us out another, Daddy," says the feller, warmin' up,
A-speakin' 'cost a saucerful, as Uncle tuk his cup,
"When I seed yer sign out yander," he went on, to Uncle Jake- -,
"'Come in and git some coffee like yer mother used to make' -
I thought of my old mother, and the Posey County farm,
And me a little kid ag'in, a-hangin' in her arm,
As she set the pot: a-bilin', broke the eggs and poured 'em in"
And the feller kindo' halted, with a trimble in his chin:

And Uncle Jake he fetched the feller's coffee back, and stood
As solemn, fer a minute, as a' undertaker would;
Then he sorto' turned and tiptoed to'rds the kitchen door - and nex',
Here comes his old wife out with him, a-rubbin' of her specs -
And she rushes fer the stranger, and she hollers out, "It's him!
Thank God we've met him comin'! Don't you know, yer mother, Jim?"
And the feller, as he grabbed her, says, "You bet I hain't forgot -
But," wipin' of his eyes, says he, "yer coffee's mighty hot!"

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