Writin' Back To The Home-Folks

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

My dear old friends - It jes beats all,
The way you write a letter
So's ever' last line beats the first,
And ever' next-un's better! -
W'y, ever' fool-thing you putt down
You make so interestin',
A feller, readin' of 'em all,
Can't tell which is the best-un.

It's all so comfortin' and good,
'Pears-like I almost hear ye
And git more sociabler, you know,
And hitch my cheer up near ye
And jes smile on ye like the sun
Acrosst the whole per-rairies
In Aprile when the thaw's begun
And country couples marries.

It's all so good-old-fashioned like
To talk jes like we're thinkin',
Without no hidin' back o' fans
And giggle-un and winkin',
Ner sizin' how each-other's dressed -
Like some is allus doin', -
"Is Marthy Ellen's basque ben turned
Er shore-enough a new-un!" -

Er "ef Steve's city-friend haint jes
'A leetle kindo'-sorto'" -
Er "wears them-air blame eye-glasses
Jes 'cause he hadn't ort to?"
And so straight on, dad-libitum,
Tel all of us feels, someway,
Jes like our "comp'ny" wuz the best
When we git up to come 'way!

That's why I like old friends like you, -
Jes 'cause you're so abidin'. -
Ef I was built to live "fer keeps,"
My principul residin'
Would be amongst the folks 'at kep'
Me allus thinkin' of 'em,
And sorto' eechin' all the time
To tell 'em how I love 'em. -

Sich folks, you know, I jes love so
I wouldn't live without 'em,
Er couldn't even drap asleep
But what I dreamp' about 'em, -
And ef we minded God, I guess
We'd all love one-another
Jes like one fam'bly, - me and Pap
And Madaline and Mother.

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