Volume 47, Issue 11 - November 2012


Once Upon an Afternoon Dreary
by Lyle R. Hill

Once upon an afternoon dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a curious drawing bleary of buildings never built afore –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my office door.
“Tis some stranger,” I muttered, “tapping at my office door –
Only this … and nothing more.”

I was tending such a heavy load, so much more than ere be told,
A schedule that would trip and break most mortal men –
But the tapping kept sounding and soon turned to pounding,
Yes, someone now pounding, pounding on my office door.
“Must be the boss,” I sputtered, “pounding at my office door –
Only him … and nothing more.”

Now his voice I did hear, and thus my heart filled with fear,
For I knew I was late with a bid he demanded I prepare –
But I had bid this contractor many a time afore, and myself had gone pounding,
Pounding the pavement, then pounding on his door.
“Your price is too high,” he’d proclaim as I stood at his door –
“Only price mattered … and nothing more.”

As the economy faltered and jobs became few, my attitude sank and soon turned blue,
But an income was needed, twas a family to feed –
So more quotes were sent and all my energy spent.
Dropping prices yet lower, I again approached his door.
“Your price was a winner,” he said, as I fell against his door –
“But the job’s been cancelled … and nothing more.”

A man’s only allotted so much hope – there is a limit with which he can cope,
So I pondered my fate and dreamed of escape –
Yet in my heart I knew, there was nothing else I could do.
Still the pounding grew louder from the boss at the door.
“You must let me in,” he shouted, “You must open this door –
“I just want to talk … and nothing more.”

I longed for a change - oh to be free, but where would I go, who’d hire me?
It had all gone so wrong, somewhat twisted and cruel –
The old days were now shattered, when quality and integrity mattered,
But traits such as these had been thrown out the door.
“This must end,” I said to myself as I looked toward my door –
“As the Raven once said … I’ll quote him no more.”

The boss soon tired found a key, walked through the portal and looked right at me.
He was really quite calm, and apologized for intruding –
Then told of two large orders that had arrived from the guy I’d been quoting.
He then turned and left, gently closing the door –
“I need to get going,” I stammered as I turned my eyes from the door –
“I still have my job and … nothing less, nothing more.”

To the reader … I am herein apologizing to you and to any of Edgar Allan Poe’s descendents. I should probably apologize to Baltimore Ravens fans as well. One night after reading the Poe classic (The Raven), something came over me that I cannot explain and this is what spilled out. As for future poems of this ilk, I can only promise … NEVERMORE!

Lyle R. Hill is the managing director of Keytech North America, a company providing research and technical services for the glass and metal industry. Hill has more than 40 years experience in the glass and metal industry and can be reached at lhill@glass.com. You can read his blog on Wednesdays at lyleblog.usglassmag.com.

© Copyright 2012 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.