Adeline Foster

(Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)

Enfant Gaté*


I had a dancing little girl;
Her laugh was full of joy,
And never would I trade that girl
For any girl or boy.
Her laughter turned the sunshine on
At the dawning of each day,
And, when at night the sun went down,
The stars in the milky way
Would nod their head and wink their eye
And bid her come out to play.
She was sometimes bold and sometimes shy,
And I liked her either way.
For the tinkling tones in her voice that rang,
It fair would make me laugh
At the words she said an the songs she sang
And the questions she could ask;
She filled my life with happiness
Till my heart fair overflowed.
She loved wee gifts and games of guess,
And she was a six-year-old.

Then I awoke one sunny morn
Knowing life has many stages.
I knew that little girl had gone
Into the happy pages
Of pleasant dreams and memories.
In the silence of the night
Time tip-toed through her draperies,
And I knew that time was right.
Then down the hall on dancing feet
Came another little girl-
She seemed so tall; her voice so sweet;
And her smile lit up my world.
Saying, 'Mommy dear, now don't you fear,
I may be a little older,
But I am here-to stay all year.'
And she draped around my shoulder.
Now she fills my life with happiness
Till my heart fair overflows.
This one loves gifts and games of guess,
But she is a seven-year-old.


In French 'enfant gaté' (awn-faw gaw-tay)
means a favorite, pampered child.
In this poem it is hard to tell which is more
pampered, the mother or child.

Submitted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Edited: Saturday, September 07, 2013

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