If Children Should Be Trained

If children should be trained,
Then let them be trained
Not only to shut a door
That ought to be shut,
But to do so without slamming it—
For both are delights in a weary world.

And it is, after all, a thing of which they will have need
Many thousands of times in this life—
Where it may be done excellently,
And not to the aggravation
Of their neighbors or friends,
Or of their parents,
Or of their piano teacher’s husband.

And having learned it well—
Should they ever find themselves
In their later years
In that other space that adjoins mine—
Perhaps they will not
Slam the spring-loaded
Kitchen cabinet doors that are
Screwed to the back side of
My office wall.

Yes, the potential of good education
Waxes promisingly as I sit here
Quietly reflecting on
The beauty of silence.

And if it should prove that
This brief poem shall have someday
Bettered this world in this way,
I shall be most glad
To have spent this time so occupied,
And shall wonder at whether
I ought to have complained more
During my sojourn here.

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