I read this poem for the first time a few days ago, and it brought tears to me eyes. What a poem of regret. May I never echo her lament!
To My Grown-Up Son
My hands were busy through the day,
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me, please, to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later, Son."
I'd tuck you in all safe at night,
and hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door.
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.
For life is short, and years rush past,
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side.
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away.
There are no children's games to play,
No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy, now lie still
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I might go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
~~Alice E Chase