March 22 — Dirty children
I walked into the living room and sat down on the couch across from her.
“Taf went to bed, so I just came out to wind down with some poetry. Shall I read you one?”
I turned to the eighth entry in a collection of poems by Rabindranath Tagore:
The child who is decked with prince’s robes and who has jeweled chains round his neck loses all pleasure in his play; his dress hampers him at every step.
In fear that it may be frayed, or stained with dust he keeps himself from the world, and is afraid even to move.
Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage of finery, if he keep one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth, if it rob one of the right of entrance to the great far of common human life.
After a moment passed she grabbed her phone. “It reminds me of this poem in Devon and Tucker’s house.”
She found the image and began to read. I would later find out that it was a poem by Shel Silverstein:
Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child?
I got it from crawling along in the dirt
And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.
I got it from chewing the roots of a rose
And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.
I got it from peeking into a dark cave
And painting myself like a Navajo brave.
I got it from playing with coal in the bin
And signing my name in cement with my chin.
I got it from rolling around on the rug
And giving the horrible dog a big hug.
I got it from finding a lost silver mine
And eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.
I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tears
And from having more fun than you’ve had in years.