Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wife Rule #74: We're Up to Our Eyeballs in Paper, in Love

The papers! The papers! We're drowning in papers!
They come from our drawers, our cutters, our tapers.
With munchkin-esque skill they artistically putter
on projects designed to set our hearts aflutter.

And it all starts with paper, that canvas divine,
so perfect and blank, it just begs for design.
Will they color, or cut, or glue into a chain?
Will they make yet another World's Best Paper Plane?
Or another self-portrait? Life-sized to be sure.
(We have one of those, lovingly stuck to our door.)

Or a seasonal something: a fallen-leaf tree?
A springtimey flower? A summer-fun sea?
A winteryscape, filled with snowflakey skies?
Or a spooky web brimming with doomed, dried-up flies?
These each find their place in our seasonal space,
taped up to a window, or stuck in a vase.

They sometimes pay homage to parents' obsessions:
like my wife's constant need to find beachy expressions,
or my love of orange arches carved out of the rocks,
sometimes glued to relief shapes carved out of a box.

But most often, creations are thoughts of their own,
favorite kid-friendly subjects they commonly clone:
Like kitties, or doggies, or birdies, or froggies.
Or mutated dinosaurs swimming in boggies.
Or a fair-headed maiden: a princess with wings
and a magical wand and who magically sings.

The pure stuff of childhood--these thoughts that they think
Are put down on paper: white, blue, green, or pink.
Sometimes it's scratch paper, sometimes construction,
or they draw down our printer supply. Each production
may take multiple sheets; especially when forming
a life-sized rendition, or 3-D transforming
of picture to sculpture, as often they do:
A house or a stage, or a big wooden shoe,
Or whatever they dream; their most memorable thought
that is making the case: "I ought to be wrought!"

And they're all fine ideas, crying out to be given
expression on paper; defined, formed, and livin'.
Yes, living to infamy, ne'ermore now to die,
for the parents of artists just can't say goodbye
to these cute, crooked drawings, these colors that spill
way out of their lines, these cutouts that thrill
with ridiculous portions of tape holding on
to ridiculous portions of paper, all drawn.

And perhaps the very most hardest of all
Are the love notes, written in children's best scrawl:
an "I love you," or "World's Bestest Dad," they might say,
or "Mommy, I'm sorry I spilled juice today."
Or "A present for someone so special," sent with
a random assortment of objects and gifts,
often blatantly surplus supplies to discard,
but still tokens of love--and that love makes it hard!

So we keep them, we hang them, we tack them on walls,
we crowd them, display them on doors and in halls,
we pile them on desks and we file them in drawers,
we put them in boxes and bags and on floors.

And we're flooded with papers! With precious reminders
of fast-fleeting, youthful, adorable blinders
they wear now for only a few precious years,
while they look to their parents to calm all their fears,
While they still think we know something more than they do,
While they still think we're fun, fast, and fabulous, too.

Yes, we're up to our eyeballs in papers, in love,
in notes and in drawings of stuff they think of,
in hearts and in flowers, in sunshine and spring,
And it's just how we'd have it: we won't change a thing.


Amy said...

Matt, that's awesome! I remember we had a triple date at BYU, (you with Brooke and me with Brian)and I believe it was you who suggested we write poetry together as part of it.

I seriously think you should submit this as a children's book, and I'd LOVE to illustrate it, but even if I didn't, I'd LOVE to see it in print with pretty illustrations! Submit it! Submit it now!!! :)

Sylvia said...

I love this! It is SO true!! I think I'm going to take some pictures of my walls and put them, with a link to this poem, on my blog - SO fun!

LuckyMatt said...

I'm glad you guys liked my little poem. Amy, it's an interesting idea--you have experience with this. Maybe we should talk--I'd have to revise it a lot and make it simpler to read for sure, but who knows? The subject is ready-made for a children's/parent-nostalgia book.

Alisa said...

I think this is so very cool. I love Amy's idea.