I hugged my little son today,
then hurriedly sent him out to play.
I had much to do -- beds to make,
floors to mop and cookies to bake.
I sped around in every room
dusting earnestly and flourishing broom.
Now I'm finished, everything is neat.
Shhh...I hear the patter of sneakered feet.
At the head of the line he stands,
flanked by four tiny pairs of grimy hands.
"Hi, Mom," he says, "can we come
How can I win?
I melt over one snaggle-toothed grin.
Copyright © 1977 Ruth Gillis
in Tucumcari Literary Review May 1994 and
Anterior Poetry Monthly July 1995
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