She’s Making A Mistake

Judith Viorst

Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog

by Judith Viorst

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
Mother says they smell,
And never sit when you say sit,
Or even when you yell.
And when you come home late at night
And there is ice and snow,
You have to go back out because
The dumb dog has to go.

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
Mother says they shed,
And always let the strangers in
And bark at friends instead,
And do disgraceful things on rugs,
And track mud on the floor,
And flop upon your bed at night
And snore their doggy snore.

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
She’s making a mistake.
Because, more than a dog, I think
She will not want this snake.

One of the delights of having small children in your life is the opportunity to sit down and read to them every day.  It’s a way of unplugging from the adult world and entering the world and ideas of children’s books.  One of my favorite books when my children were little was Viorst’s; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  I read it so many times, I think I remember the opening lines by heart – “I went to bed with gum in my mouth and woke up with gum in my hair. Its going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”  Viorst continues on to illustrate in a funny way, that things happen and we all have to deal with it.

It feels like we have been a streak of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days lately, more than our fair share.  And unlike Alexander, where a scissors and a bit of snipping can set things right on the first disaster, there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves and our children from the onslaught of no good that is all around us.  The senseless tragedy in Minneapolis this week in the death of Dante Wright is beyond comprehension and I am not going to even attempt to comment  other than to acknowledge the tremendous sadness myself and others in my immediate community are feeling.   No words feel like they address the scope of the frustration and sadness of the ongoing police violence in the Twin Cities.        

For today, I am going to retreat into the simplicity of children’s verse and blot out this terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.   And offer a silent prayer for my city, that some level of healing happens and change is not just rhetoric but real, real soon.   


by Shel Silverstein

Sandra’s seen a leprechuan
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins’ gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing.
Susy spied an elf.,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.

Published by

A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

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