I had forgotten, and half with pride,
Fifteen’s no field of clover.
So here I sit at Annabelle’s side,
Learning my lessons over.
For help is something you have to give
When daughters are faced with the Ablative
Or first encounter in any school
Immutable gender’s mortal rule.
Day after day for a weary spell,
When the dusk has pitched its tents,
I sit with a book and Annabelle
At the hour of confidence
And rummage for lore I had long consigned
To cobwebby attics of my mind,
Like: For the Radius, write down R,
The Volga’s a river, Vega’s a star,
Brazil’s in the Tropic of Capricorn,
And heart is a burden that has to be borne.
Oh, high is the price of parenthood,
And daughters may cost you double.
You dare not forget, as you thought you could,
That youth is a plague and trouble.
N times 7 is 7n --
Here I go learning it all again:
The climates of continents tend to vary,
The verb "to love" ’s not auxiliary,
Tomorrow will come and today will pass,
But the hearts of the young are brittle as glass.