By Frank Steele
(The Child Speaks)
I started school today, dad;
And gee, it’s heaps o’ fun
To meet so many boys and girls
And slide and swing and run –
And march just like the soldiers do
To the rattle of a drum.
And, dad, we’ve got a teacher
Real interesting and kind –
And if we talk a little bit,
Well, she really doesn’t mind –
And she’s got the cutest puppy dog
You’d ever wish to find.
(The Father Answers)
So you’ve started school at last, dear,
Dad’s proud of that, all right;
Proud to see you growing up
Strong and clean and bright,
With a spirit breathing goodness,
Fresh as the morning light.
I’m glad you like the children,
That you love your teacher so,
But you’ll never know how hard, my dear,
It was to see you go.
And the yearning in your mother’s eyes –
Ah, that you’ll never know.
You seemed so lonely in the crowd,
So helpless, strange and small
That I lingered near you, dearie child,
Till I heard the school bell call
And saw you throw a goodbye kiss
As you passed into the hall.
And the warm world lost its singing,
Chilled like my troubled heart,
For it seemed that hour, my darling,
Your life was a thing apart –
That alien loves would soon be yours,
And that was the dread, the smart.
But dads, I guess, must not forget
Their little ones must grow
Tall and brave – must dream their dreams –
And finally must go;
And if, my child, we cling to you,
‘Tis ‘cause we love you so.