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            Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

                The Kick Under the Table

    After a man has been married awhile,
    And his wife has grown used to his manner and style,
    When she knows from the twinkle that lights up his eye
    The thoughts he is thinking, the wherefore and why,
    And just what he'll say, and just what he'll do,
    And is sure that he'll make a bad break ere he's through,
    She has one little trick that she'll work when she's able—
    She takes a sly kick at him under the table.

    He may fancy the story he's telling is true,
    Or he's doing the thing which is proper to do;
    He may fancy he's holding his own with the rest,
    The life of the party and right at his best,
    When quickly he learns to his utter dismay,
    That he mustn't say what he's just started to say.
    He is stopped at the place where he hoped to begin,
    By his wife, who has taken at kick at his shin.

    If he picks the wrong fork for the salad, he knows,
    That fact by the feel of his wife's slippered toes.
    If he's started a bit of untellable news,
    On the calf of his leg there is planted a bruise.
    Oh, I wonder sometimes what would happen to me
    If the wife were not seated just where she could be
    On guard every minute to watch every trick,
    And keep me in line all the time with her kick.


The above poem can be found in:
  • Guest, Edgar A. When Day is Done. Chicago: Reilly &
    Lee Co., 1921.

    Edgar Albert Guest was author of the syndicated
    newspaper column Breakfast Table Chat, host of a weekly
    radio show from 1931 to 1942, and host of a television
    show in 1951. The Michigan state senate voted Guest the
    state's poet laureate in 1952.