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Father's Story
Elizabeth Madox Roberts


We put more coal on the big red fire,
   And while we are waiting for dinner to cook,
Our father comes and tells us about
   A story that he has read in a book.

And Charles and Will and Dick and I
   And all of us but Clarence are there.
And some of us sit on Father’s legs,
   But one has to sit on the little red chair.

And when we are sitting very still,
   He sings us a song or tells a piece;
He sings “Dan Tucker Went to Town,”         
   Or he tells us about the golden fleece.

He tells us about the golden wool,
   And some of it is about a boy
Named Jason, and about a ship,
   And some is about a town called Troy.

And while he is telling or singing it through,
   I stand by his arm, for that is my pace.
And I push my fingers into his skin
   To make little dents in his big round face.

From My Poetry Book: An Anthology of Modern Verse for Boys and Girls
(John C. Winston Comapny, 1934).


Elizabeth Madox Roberts (1881-1941) was from Springfield, Kentucky. A successful novelist and poet, she taught school before devoting herself to writing. Plagued by poor health for much of her life, Elizabeth nevertheless managed to create a significant body of  work that won multiple awards and earned international attention.



Post New Comment:
Skillful use of language - mastery. Odd ending.
Posted 06/15/2016 11:11 AM
Delightful poem!
Posted 06/15/2016 10:02 AM
A really sweet poem. I loved it.
Posted 06/15/2016 09:52 AM
...for that is my place...
Posted 06/15/2016 08:38 AM
Love it.
Posted 06/15/2016 08:26 AM
Tender & touching. Thanks, Jayne. Shall also check out her body of work(s).
Posted 06/15/2016 07:29 AM
Belinda Veldman:
The memories we could create for our children if we just sat down with them to tell - or read - a story ...
Posted 06/15/2016 02:08 AM

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