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The Poor Little Toe

Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1855 (Janesville) – 1919

I am all tired out, said the mouth, with a pout,
I am all tired out with talk.
Just wait, said the knee, till you're lame as you can be-
And then have to walk-walk-walk.

My work, said the hand, is the hardest in the land.
Nay, mine is harder yet, said the brain;
When you toil, said the eye, as steadily as I,
O then you'll have reason to complain.

Then a voice, faint and low, of the poor little toe
Spoke out in the dark with a wail:
It is seldom I complain, but you all will bear your pain
With more patience if you hearken to my tale.

I'm the youngest of five, and the others live and thrive,
They are cared for, and considered and admired.
I am overlooked and snubbed, I am pushed upon and rubbed,
I am always sick and ailing, sore and tired.

But I carry all the weight of the body, small or great,
Yet no one ever praises what I do;
I am always in the way, and 'tis I who have to pay
For the folly and the pride of all of you.

Then the mouth and the brain and the hand said, 'tis plain
Though troubled be our lives with woe,
The hardest lot of all, does certainly befall
The poor little, humble little toe,
The snubbed little, rubbed little toe.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:11 min read
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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. more…

All Ella Wheeler Wilcox poems | Ella Wheeler Wilcox Books

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