Some years ago I came across a poem by Richard Armour in a book that was a collection of quotes and poems about home and family. I just loved his poem — it was both sweet and funny. I began to research to try to find out more about Amour and to find the book this poem came from. It turns out he was a prolific writer who used to have a newspaper column called “Armour’s Armory.” He’s written about home and family, history, Shakespeare, and a lot of other topics. Unfortunately most of his books appear to be out of print, but fortunately you can find many at amazon.com for a dollar or two plus shipping. I ordered three in order to try and find this poem (plus one book on a different topic, Going Like Sixty. No, I wont be sixty for a while yet, but thought this book would be funny, and wanted to get it while it is available).
I did finally find the poem I was seeking in The Spouse in the House. The book jacket calls his verse “playful” and “human as well as humorous.”
Here’s the poem that first intrigued me and started my search:
A splendid team, my wife and I:
She washes dishes, and I dry.
I sometimes pass her back a dish
To give another cleansing swish.
She sometimes holds up to the light
A glass I haven’t dried just right.
But mostly there is no complaint,
Or it is courteous and faint,
For I would never care to see
The washing job consigned to me,
And though the things I dry still drip,
She keeps me for companionship.
Down the Tube
I’ve seen my wife with anger burn
At something that I never learn:
The toothpaste tube I squeeze and bend
At top and middle, not the end.
She scolds me, pointing out my error,
Makes use of scorn and taunts and terror,
But I forget and go on squeezing
The toothpaste tube in ways displeasing.
In larger things we are convivial:
What causes trouble is the trivial.
I’ve marked a few more, but I don’t want to bore you by going on too long. I’ll leave you with the last one in the book:
Well, Come In
You can have your Welcome mats.
I ask for just a little more
When I come home from work, and that’s
A Welcome mate inside my door.
That’s a bit convicting to me — too often I’m a distracted mate.
Of course, since as far as I can tell he is not a saved man, there might be some objectionable things in his writings. I haven’t found any yet beyond an occasional mention of alcohol, but I wanted to be careful with a disclaimer in case someone else finds something.
The book was such easy reading that I finished it in a few days and added it to my fall reading list in my side bar. I’m looking forward to reading the others I bought and probably even buying some more. Hope you enjoyed them, too — you might be seeing more quotes from Armour in the future. 🙂