The House of the Trees
& Other Poems

by Ethelwyn Wetherald


Three Years Old

WHAT is it like, I wonder, to roam
    Down through the tall grass hidden quite?
To feel very far away from home
    When the dear house is out of sight?

To want to play with the broken moon

    In the star garden of the skies?
To sleep through twilight eves of June
    Beneath the sound of lullabies?

To hold up hurts for all to see,
    Sob at imaginary harms,
To clasp in welcome a father’s knee,
    And fit so well to a mother’s arms?

To have life bounded by one dull road,
    A wood and a pond, and to feel no lack,
To gaze with pleasure upon a toad,
    And caress a mud-turtle’s horny back?

To follow the robin’s cheerful hop
    With all the salt small hands can hold, [Page 86]
And plead in vain for it to stop—
    What is it like to be three years old?

Ah, once I knew, but ’t was long ago;
    I try to recall it in vain—in vain!
And now I know I shall never know
    What it is to be a child again. [Page 87]