Adeline Foster (Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)
What is this note laid under the lamp
Written in a childish scrawl?
It annoys me when I think of that scamp
And look at the empty hall.
Molly has gone down by the fence;
She was here but a moment ago.
I’ve been angry and have taken the chance
To scold her for I know
She dreams away her waking hours,
When night was made for them.
She never does her chores until
I’ve told her again and again.
She’s sulking and I know she thinks
That the neighbor’s boy has time to dream
And hours to play all day.
And she wishes she could be like him
And never put her toys away.
And never be scolded for spilling her milk,
And never be told what to do.
For they never yell or trounce him behind
And he’s such a bad boy, too.
I wish I knew what to do with the child
For someday she’ll be grown.
I don’t want to be harsh yet all the while
I worry what she’ll become.
And here’s this note that can hardly be read.
I swear I don’t know how that child will live.
I picked up the note and all it said
Was, “I love you.” and, “Please forgive.”
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