Everard Jack Appleton
I sure do like that kid, although I know
He’s rotten spoiled, and ought to be suppressed.
He’s boiling over with boy-nonsense! So
The neighbors have no chance to get a rest.
Not bad, you understand; just “some unlucky”
In getting caught at things, once in a while;
Yet when he does, he never runs—he’s plucky!
But plays that smile of his, that flashing smile.
Sometimes when he has done a foolish thing—
Like “hoeing weeds” with our best garden hose,
Or in the rose bed “built a min’rul spring,”
He’s bound to make me peevish, goodness knows!
Yet when he tries to “‘splain it all” to me,
I don’t succumb a moment to his guile;
I’m stern, as stern, indeed, as I can be—
Until he smiles that mother-given smile!
Perhaps he doesn’t understand how strong
A weapon he possesses—Gracious me!
Disarmed by it, I can not right the wrong
By scolding him, however forcefully.
I do believe, if Fate itself were bent
On breaking him, ‘twould hesitate a while
And feel ashamed!… He wins without intent
Because—God bless him!—he knows when to smile.