Katherine Mansfield

(14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923 / Wellington)

Opposites - Poem by Katherine Mansfield

The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child
Walked out into the street
And splashed in all the pubbles till
She had such shocking feet

The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child
Stayed quietly in the house
And sat upon the fender stool
As still as any mouse.

The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child
Her hands were black as ink;
She would come running through the house
And begging for a drink.

The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child
Her hands were white as snow;
She did not like to play around,
She only liked to sew.

The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child
Lost hair ribbons galore;
She dropped them on the garden walks,
She dropped them on the floor.

The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child
O thoughtful little girl!
She liked to walk quite soberly,
It kept her hair in curl.

The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child
When she was glad or proud
Just flung her arms round Mother's neck
And kissed her very loud.

The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child
Was shocked at such a sight,
She only offered you her cheek
At morning and at night.

O Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child
Your happy laughing face
Does like a scented Summer rose
Make sweet the dullest place.

O Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child
My dear, I'm well content
To have my daughter in my arms,
And not an ornament.


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Read poems about / on: child, house, daughter, hair, running, girl, snow, summer, rose, happy, mother, lost, night, children, kiss



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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