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A Boy's Mother
James Whitcomb Riley


My mother she's so good to me, 
Ef I was good as I could be, 
I couldn't be as good—--no, sir!— --
Can't any boy be good as her!

She loves me when I'm glad er sad; 
She loves me when I'm good er bad; 
An', what's a funniest thing, she says 
She loves me when she punishes.

I don't like her to punish me.—--
That don't hurt,--—but it hurts to see 
Her cryin'.--—Nen I cry; an' nen 
We both cry an' be good again.

She loves me when she cuts an' sews 
My little cloak an' Sund'y clothes; 
An' when my Pa comes home to tea, 
She loves him most as much as me.

She laughs an' tells him all I said, 
An' grabs me up an' pats my head; 
An' I hug her, an' hug my Pa 
An' love him purt' nigh as much as as Ma.

This poem is in the public domain.


James Whitcomb Riley (1849 - 1916) was an American poet best known for his children's poems and dialect-based verses. James was born in Greenfield, Indiana, and later moved to Indianapolis; homes in both cities are preserved and open to the public today. James was hugely popular during his lifetime. A bestselling author who traveled the country speaking to sell-out crowds, he never married or had children of his own, but he loved children and they loved him back. When he died, more than 35,000 people came to pay their respects as James lay in state under the Indiana capitol dome.  




Post New Comment:
Gives new definition to whimsical. Truly enjoyed this poem. Thanks, Jayne.
Posted 05/10/2017 10:06 AM
This poem makes me smile! Janice
Posted 05/10/2017 09:39 AM
I love this!!
Posted 05/10/2017 08:51 AM
It's a great attempt at baby talk!
Posted 05/10/2017 08:43 AM

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