All I wanted was this for you:
That you could tie or buckle your shoe.
At night when the stars blinked loftily down
At us and the lights in our little town,
You read to me, I read to you
Of the Little Red Hen and Little Boy Blue,
And all I wanted was that you should need
To feel this urgency to read.
And all I wanted when the noon sun shone
Was that you could walk to school alone.
Sometimes the wind tossed leaves in our path;
You would leave my side and chase them and laugh;
I watched how the breeze tossed your red-gold curls
As you dropped my apron to run with the girls;
All that I wanted was that you should decide
The turn of your sails with the outgoing tide.
All that I wanted too soon is here;
You need me no longer, but, oh, my dear--
Childhood, schooldays--now that you're grown,
How can I learn to walk alone?
~Mabel Jones Gabbott