I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not good with kids. As much as I don’t understand them nor find much joy in their presence, people must keep having them for a reason…
Their numbers grow, it seems to me, with every passing day,
and every one that passes by would make the faithless pray—
For if, in Hell, there is a place reserved for folks like me,
its face would boast a youthful grin, and shrill its voice would be.
So you may call me spiteful, or obstinate, or grim,
But children are, in my surmise, the penance for our sins:
The loud and the unwieldy, the awkward and abstruse,
give little pause for sanity amid their sly abuse.
That’s not to say I’ll never see a sudden change of heart:
as certain tastes mature with age, so others may depart.
But from this seat of wisdom, I still admit my doubt,
For present-me is ill-prepared to nurture such a sprout.
But sometimes through the chaos and the rollicking uncouth,
A woman watches reverently the antics of the youth:
Her lips draw wide in wrinkles, her eyes regain their hue;
She sees a grace unknown to me ― and then I’m smiling too.