Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Parenting via Frank O'Hara

Posted Apr 25 2012 12:43pm

When I visited City Lights bookstore last weekend in San Francisco, I wandered through the poetry section in near rapture, up the stairs in the ether and gathered a few books to flip through, those I knew and those I had never heard of, thinking how poetry endures, the toil of it, despite. Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems is a small book to revel in, and this poem one of my favorites
Ave Maria

Mothers of America

                               let your kids go to the movies!

get them out of the house so they won't know what you're up to

it's true that fresh air is good for the boy

                                                                but what about the soul

that grows in darkness, embossed by silvery images

and when you grow old as grow old you must
                                                                         they won't hate you

they won't criticize you they won't know

                                      they'll be in some glamorous country

they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or playing hookey

they may even be grateful to you

                                                      for their first sexual experience

which only cost you a quarter

                                            and didn't upset the peaceful home

they will know where candy bars come from
                                                     and gratuitous bags of popcorn

as gratuitous as leaving the movie before it's over

with a pleasant stranger whose apartment is in the 
                                                                       Heaven on Earth Bldg

near the Williamsburg Bridge
                                oh mothers you will have made the little tykes

so happy because if nobody does pick them up in the movies

they won't know the difference
                                       and if somebody does it'll be sheer gravy

and they'll have been truly entertained either way

instead of hanging around the yard

                                                         or up in their room
                                                                                        hating you

prematurely since you won't have done anything horribly
                                                                                         mean yet

except keeping them from the darker joys
                                                               it's unforgivable the latter

so don't blame me if you won't take this advice

                                                                 and the family breaks up

and your children grow old and blind in front of a TV set


movies you wouldn't let them see when they were young

Frank O'Hara, 1960
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches