Monday, June 1, 2015

A Lesson in Manners (Monday Poem)

by John Ciardi

Someone told me someone said
You should never be bad till you've been fed.
You may, you know, be sent to bed
Without your supper. ---And there you are,
With nothing to eat. Not even a jar
Of pickle juice, nor a candy bar.
No, nothing to eat and nothing to drink,
And all night long to lie there and think
About washing baby's ears with ink,
Or nailing the door shut, or sassing Dad,
Or about whatever you did that was bad,
And wishing you hadn't, and feeling sad.

Now then, if what I'm told is true,
What I want to say to you -- and you--
Is: MIND YOUR MANNERS. They just won't do.
If you have to be bad, you must learn to wait
Till after supper. Be good until eight.
If you let your badness come out late
It doesn't hurt to be sent ot bed.
Well, not so much. So use your head:
Don't be bad till you've been fed.

from Whisper and Shout: Poems to Memorize edited by Patrice Vecchione, 2002, Cricket Books

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