I wish I was a poet like the men that write in books
The poems that we have to learn on valleys, hills an’ brooks;
I’d write of things that children like an’ know an’ understand,
An’ when the kids recited them the folks would call them grand.
If I’d been born a Whittier, instead of what I am,
I’d write a poem now about a piece of bread an’ jam.
I’d tell how hungry children get all afternoon in school,
An’ sittin’ at attention just because it is the rule,
An’ lookin’ every now an’ then up to the clock to see
If that big hand an’ little hand would ever get to three.
I’d tell how children hurry home an’ give the door a slam
An’ ask their mothers can they have a piece of bread an’ jam.
Some poets write of things to eat an’ sing of dinners fine,
An’ praise the dishes they enjoy, an’ some folks sing of wine,
But they’ve forgotten, I suppose, the days when they were small
An’ hurried home from school to get the finest food of all;
They don’t remember any more how good it was to cram
Inside their hungry little selves a piece of bread an’ jam.
I wish I was a Whittier, a Stevenson or Burns,
I wouldn’t write of hills an’ brooks, or mossy banks or ferns,
I wouldn’t write of rolling seas or mountains towering high,
But I would sing of chocolate cake an’ good old apple pie,
An’ best of all the food there is, beyond the slightest doubt,
Is bread an’ jam we always get as soon as school is out.