Brian Allgar: Poe's Toes

In a drunken stupor snoring, having dropped that book so boring
Over which I’d long been poring, I was dreaming of Lenore.
From that reverie bewitching, suddenly my feet were twitching,
Every toe insanely itching – yes, all ten, that’s half a score!

All my piggies, big to pinkies. Have I overdone the drinkies?
Maddened, all that I can think is: “Where the hell is dear Lenore,
She who knows just how to scratch them, salve them, bandage them and patch them?”
Fleeting thoughts, but then I catch them – O, alas! She is no more.

How I curse! My words are shocking. Then I hear a feeble knocking;
Could it be some neighbour mocking, taunting, tapping on my door?
As I open it, I stumble. “Oh, my bloody toes!” I mumble.
“Master,” quoth the raven humble, “That is what I’ve come here for.”

With his beak, he pecks and nibbles at my toes, and though he dribbles,
I am not the kind who quibbles. He has quite replaced Lenore.
Now the bird and I are happy, though my room is somewhat crappy.
“Scratch my toes, and make it snappy!” Itching tootsies? Nevermore!