I have a feeling there are quite a few kids out there (and grown ups who were once kids) who will be able to relate to this hilarious poem!
THE PAYOFF – Mary Blakeslee
For seven months I made my bed
And cleaned my room up neat.
I said my prayers, hung up my clothes
And always wiped my feet.
I brushed my teeth three times a day
And slicked my hair with goo.
I even washed behind my ears,
I scrubbed my elbows too.
I ate my liver and my greens
And never made a face.
And when I spilled my milk I cleaned
It up without a trace.
A lot of good it did to be
So perfect every day.
‘Cause Mommy went ahead and had
The baby anyway!
This wonderful poem comes from a collection of children’s poetry that has had a nostalgic home in my personal collection for decades. The poems in Mary Blakeslee’s It’s Still Tough to Be a Kid, first published in 1988, really capture the spirit of childhood in all its craziness, warts and all, and as a child I remember being enthralled by, and connecting with, so many of these little wonders. The illustrations are wonderfully weird, and at times more creepy than cuddly, making them incredibly memorable. Sadly the collection is very hard to find – few libraries carry a copy, and it’s even difficult to find a copy on Amazon, which is a shame, because these illustrated poems are so very memorable! I might share a few more of my favourites from the collection on future Poetry Friday posts, because I really do love them.
Happy Friday, everyone – it’s time to let your inner child out!