Pat D'Amico: Listen To Your Sainted Mother

Be sure to wipe your feet
And do not slam the door.
Pick up all your toys –
Or you won’t get any more.
Wash behind your ears
And dry between your toes.
Comb your hair and brush your teeth
And never pick your nose.
Don’t kick or bite or burp out loud
Or antagonize your brother.
And always you must listen
To your sainted mother.

Turn around, young lady.
Go back and change that dress.
I doubt if you can take a breath.
Your ribs are under stress.
So cover up. Put on some clothes.
Your pleading will not swerve us.
The fashion may be cutting edge
But it makes your father nervous.
Don’t chew gum. Don’t slouch or sprawl.
These words aren’t meant to smother.
It’s important that you listen
To your sainted mother.

If you use my car,
Please put back the seat.
I’d like my rear to end up near
Where feet and pedals meet.
Kindly leave your skin
The way that God intended.
Stop and think, since tattoo ink
Cannot be amended.
Listen to your inner voice
And if I have my druther,
This voice of wisdom, you’ll derive
From your sainted mother.

When you’re away at college,
Avoid the boozy blasts.
A pickled brain cannot retain
Anything that lasts.
If your money’s running short,
It’ll do no good to try
To hit up Mom and Dad again–
The well is running dry.
Someday you’ll have children
one way or another
You’ll tell them they must listen
To their sainted mother.