THERE seems some fatal lack in me,
A curious infirmity
By fault whereof I never can
Discern the picturesque in man.
No taxi driver, caught or cruising,
Has ever uttered an amusing
Oath, mot, reproof, or epigram
In my vicinity. I am
Ignored by wags in cordial shops
And philosophic traffic cops.
No fellow in a ragged coat
Tells me a racy anecdote;
Nor are my carrots and potatoes
Purveyed by accidental Platos.
And if, forgetting his high station,
A waiter grants me conversation,
I find his comments rather leaning
To entrées than Life’s Inner Meaning.
Infected by some mortal taint
Seems my perception for the quaint
Which other folk are always lighting on —
(And getting quite well paid for writing on!)
PHYLLIS MCGINLEY