Ambiguous Intransitive
 
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Some thoughts composed after receiving from my brother, then in Worcestershire, a postal packet, which, face-up on the doormat, showed as its most prominent feature, the words 'PLEASE DO NOT BEND' in turquoise ink. How to retrieve it without bending was the next problem!

THE AMBIGUOUS INTRANSITIVE

Away in far-off Worcestershire the inspiration came.
His erstwhile unloquacious pen had failed to play the game.
The nimble mind ranged near and far; what should the message be
Of action, passion, trite or wise, or coarse facetiae?
PLEASE DO NOT BEND.

Then, while he sat, a star arose upon his turbid muse,
Like Venus on a frosty night; there was no time to lose!
This evanescent vision bright he hastened to record
Upon the pallid envelope which rested on his board.
PLEASE DO NOT BEND.

He thought of torsioned vertebrae and oesophageal flux,
Of cramped intestines, tortured bones and overstrained buttocks.
"This must not be! I cannot be responsible for pain.
"Yes! This is what I must convey e'er 'post goes out again."
PLEASE DO NOT BEND.

The contents of the missive may inconsequential be;
The thoughts of home and family, so dear to you and me;
Of memories past and things to do, these all have place, no doubt,
But, highest of priorities, this message must go out!
PLEASE DO NOT BEND.

And so, in turquoise ink he wrote upon the vacant page
In words of wisdom, words of truth, the statement of the age.
So thus, far off, the creasing of his brother was avoided,
The upright frame it was maintained, and not at all sigmoided.
PLEASE DO NOT BEND.

WJG. 10.93.

The Estate of William John Green, 2004