Amy Foreman: "May I Please?"
It’s not “I want” but “May I please?” I drilled into their heads,
For we have all our needs right here: our clothes, our food, our beds . . .
There’s nothing we could want for, as our situation’s grand,
Where every kind of blessing comes so easily to hand.
As such, “I want” is careless talk and not the truth at all.
Besides it bothers me a bunch when I hear one so small
Incessantly complain and whine that “I want” this or that . . .
A glass of milk, a snack, a toy, a book, the dog or cat.
And so I trained my kids, politer ones you couldn’t find,
Their “May I please?” preceded each desire they defined.
I had to smile one night, though, as their manners still held true,
When one cried out, “I’m scared; oh Mama! May I please have you?”