Boys will be boys

Not all my poems have been about my daughter. Here are some I have written about (and for) my two sons.

Yes

Have you cleaned your teeth yet?

my mum yells up the stairs

And I say yes

I put some toothpaste on my pinkie

and dab it on my teeth

She’ll never guess.

Have you washed your face yet?

my mum yells up the stairs

And I say yes

I dab some soap on each cheek

and on my nose

That always fools her.

My mum kisses me

I know she’s smelling me

to see if I’ve washed

Do you know how much

I love you, she says

And I say, yes.

Getting children to tidy their rooms can be a pain. I think at some stage I must have given up trying and wrote this poem instead.

My mum says

My mum says

‘tidy your room

or else I’ll tidy it for you!’

No! Not that. Never. Help!

I’ll never be able

to find anything I want

ever again

So I race to my room

and tidy it up

double quick

When she’s not looking

I push all the little bits

under the bed

and all the big bits

under the duvet

Mum looks in and smiles

Now I’ll be left in peace.

As soon as she’s gone

I get everything out

and mess it all up again

Otherwise

I’ll never

be able to find

anything

ever.

Too tired

I’m never too tired to play

I could play with my toys all day

I’m never too tired for fun

I love to jump and to run.

I’m never too tired to climb

The best in the world, that’s me

But when it’s time to tidy up

I’m as tired as can be.

I’m never too tired for toys

and for playing with girls and boys

I love to run and skip and hop

I can play all day and never stop.

I’m never too tired for stories

or for watching shows on the TV

But when mum says, ‘It’s time to get washed!’

I’m as tired as can be.

I’m never too tired for swings

and other exciting things

I’m never too tired to play with my train

I can run it again and again and again.

I’m never too tired for digging in sand

or for paddling in the sea

I’m never too tired for icecream

or for having a picnic tea.

I’m never too tired for daddy

when he says, ‘Now what shall I be?’

And we play all sorts of lovely games

My brother, my daddy and me.

I’m sometimes too tired to walk upstairs

I say, ‘But I’m only three!’

But when mummy says, ‘It’s time for bed!’

I’m as wide-awake as can be!

The next two poems were written when my nephew was born.

To Adam with love

It’s hard to believe

you were ever not here

And now you are we love you so

and want to hold you near

We trust the world will never

give you anything to fear.

Remembering

When you cry

there’s a look of surprise in your eyes

And I remember all the days and nights

I heard those baby cries

And when you stretch out little hands

upon your mother’s breast

I think of all those far off days

and the times I loved the best.

1989

 

 © Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

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