Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Poem for My Sister

Marianne is really the one that's good at writing clever poetry but I changed a few words in "Oh The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss in honor of my sweet little sister, Olivia.  She recently found out that baby number five will be boy number four!  It's exciting news.  Babies are always exciting news.

So here's "my" poem.  (I'm the Milli Vanilli of poetry.)

For Olivia:

Today is your day.
You're going to have four!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can pick a name
any boy name you choose.
You're not on your own.  (And Edgar’s picky you know.)
But I’m sure you'll decide a name that will go.

You'll have four boys to love.  Look 'em over with care.
I know you will say, "I am glad that they’re there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart not to know that four boys are a treat.

And Lili will not have any
reason to frown.
No sisters, of course,
but lots of girl cousins in town.

It's lively there
when four sons are your share.

To moms things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
like cub scouts.  Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start sewing badges too.


You'll have some wolf pups!
You'll have pack meeting nights!
You'll even have eagles
who soar to high heights.

Your pinewood derby cars will have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that boys and their laundry
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in clothes that smell bad.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left sort of sad.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where boy socks seem to rot.
Some things are picked up.  But mostly they're not.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
You may wonder what happened to your little kin.
When did they get tall and with hair on their chin?

They’ll start to be hungry all day and night...
“Is there something to eat?” Food will vanish bite by bite.
They’ll always be famished, want snacks of any kind
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
providing food; you may lose your mind.

Then they’ll need rides
and you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for mothers just waiting.
Waiting for scouts
or sports practice, or lessons
or doctors, or dentists
or orthodontists, or play practice
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Mothers are waiting.

That's not for you!

Someday you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

They’ll get a driver’s license,
once more you'll ride high!
In the meantime you’ll have books to read.
(Because audio books are what you will need!)

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
Your boys will achieve.  There are games to be won.
Your sons will be heroes at all kinds of ball,
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
they won’t succeed too.
No one is perfect,
comforting will be up to you.

Being mom!
Whether you like it or not,
Making them happy
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're a mom, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many kid troubles as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your baby a Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!


Olivia Cobian said...

Tell me you're reciting at the Gathering next week!!! Actually, tears are streaming down my face. This is a lovely poem. Thank you, thank you, my heart sings for writing it for me! I love you.

Marianne said...

That is so great. Very clever!

JoLyn said...

As a mother of four boys, I feel qualified to say that your poem is wonderful!

Leslie said...

This is so great Thelma! I love your blog! :)


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