TAP!  TAP!  TAP!
The eerie tap, tap, tapping
Resounded loudly through the night,
The fog was dense; the mist was thick,
Of no use was keen eyesight.
Who walked and tapped his cane that night?
What evil lurked within that fog?
Was someone seeking souls to ravish,
Or pompous men of wealth to rob?
Who was he who roamed those streets?
What kind of thoughts were in his mind?
Why did the tapping of his cane
Send chills up and down one's spine?
The air so still and heavy,
One could scarcely draw a breath,
Fog-like fingers groped and choked,
Provoking fears of pain and death.
Few men ventured out that night,
Wise folks remained inside,
Only dolts and drunks, it seemed,
Reeled down the streets outside
Though safe within their houses,
Widows shivered in their beds,
Wide-eyed children hugged their dollies,
And pulled the covers o'er their heads.
A chilling wind arose at Midnight,
Which shrieked and screeched and moaned,
But it did not blow the fog away,
Just swirled it tighter 'round each home.

Dogs growled and howled and cats meowed,
So disturbed were family pets,
Then, one by one, porch lights went on,
The entire neighborhood, upset.
Nearer and nearer came the taps,
As the cane approached each neighbor's door,
Not loud enough to wake the dead
Yet too intense to be ignored.
People sat up-right in their beds!
Awake ... alert ... aware!
What would come next?  Scared and perplexed,
Some knelt and uttered prayers!
Who walked with such a steady beat,
And tapped his cane that foggy night?
Did he wear a cape and hood,
And hold a weapon out of sight?
All evening long the taps went on,
Until the light of day,
And when the fog at last had gone,
The tapping went away.
Then came such a deathly silence,
One could hear a snowflake drop,
People held their breaths and listened,
Had the tapping really stopped?
What a puzzle ... what a problem,
No idea what to do,
Would the taps begin again,
Or were they now completely through?
Crisp, clear nights brought no taps at all,
Only lovely, quiet, restful sleep,
No worries, no anxieties,
Just welcomed peace and sweet relief
Yet next time when the fog rolled in,
And became thick and dense,
The tap, tap, taps commenced again,
And folks once more grew tense.
Men do accept some facts of life,
With awkward resignation,
Like things that go bump in the night,
That have no explanation.
Bumps in the night and taps in the fog, 
Must be kin to one another,
Each has a source unknown, of course,
And both cause brave men to shudder.
So let me give you some advice,
Never seek out that man who taps,
For if you see him in the fog,
You just might find yourself entrapped.
When the fog is done and dawn has come,
And the man who tapped has left your view,
Think back to when you searched and found him,
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright April 2010
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