Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Midweek Poem

Song To Be Sung by the Father of Infant Female Children
by Ogden Nash

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.
Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.
I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think is he the one?
Oh, first he'll want to crop his curls,
And then he'll want a pony,
And then he'll think of pretty girls,
And holy matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.
Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He'll sell a bond, or he'll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He'll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry My daughter Jill.
Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I'll open all his safety pins,
I'll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I'll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring.
Then perhaps he'll struggle though fire and water
To marry somebody else's daughter.


I don't know about other fathers of young girls, but I look forward to their dating and engagement years with a bit of both excitement and dread. This poem by my favorite poet, Ogden Nash, pretty well gets the dread part down.

1 comment:

Katalina B said...

Years ago, when my son and daughter were in their teens, my husband and I went thru the usual "pains" that parents of teenagers experience. A co-worker that I admired had raised three girls and two boys. He offered advice on the do(s) and don't(s) of raising teens. His advice included the following: "...and DON'T let them (teens) use deodorant!" I was amazed at this statement and thought what could he possibly be thinking??? He went on to say, "...you see, the armpit is located between the head and the heart. The deodorants on the market today contain chemicals that affect both the head and the heart by causing a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction results in illogical thinking...that is if they bother to "think" at all!" The whole time he is telling me this, I am thinking...is this guy serious or what??? Since he was telling me this with a "straight" face, I paused for just a split second to digest what he had just said (talk about being naive!) It wasn't until he actually finished his bit of advice, that I realized my "chain" had just been yanked!