For Evan, Who Says I Am Too Tidy
grandson's lips, "tidy" is pretty
smacks of age and tameness, of desire
by gray prudence, waiting for commands,
to endure the scrubbing of both hands.
tidy sets the table, mends the toys,
out clean bedding and such minor joys
underpin contentment and at least
with daily bread, if not with feast.
been blamed for everything we suffer
guilt to prisons. But free-wheeling's
wary not to fracture laws and bones,
less adept with statutes than with stones.
tidy seldom goes where genius goes,
then how many do? And heaven knows
work for us who watch the time, the purse,
washing of small hands. I've been called
Rhina P. Espaillat
Where Horizons Go, New Odyssey Press,
1998. Reprinted by permission of the