My antique frame is decorated with a motley collection of dolls, moulded in gesso, and it contains a print depicting a small girl diligently mending her doll's clothes beside a poem, Mending Day by Burges Johnson, a minor American humourist, poet and writer of limericks. So far, so sweet...
...here is the poem. Mending Day.
How quickly children's clothes will rip and tear
Each time I put off mending till so late,
I re'lize that a family of eight
Can give a loving mother lots of care.
If more get born I really do declare
I'll put 'em into bed and make 'em wait.
My brother hopes to learn to operate,
But there is not a child that I would spare.
He's borrowed three that he pertends are dead.
But I won't even think of such a thin'
And yet at mending time I've often said
I almost wished-though p'raps it is a sin-
That God has sent some paper dolls instead
Whose clothes are only painted on their skin.
The little girl's brother sounds too cold-hearted for our modern sensibilities, and even she is so care-worn that she's tempted to hand a few "children" over to him, for his surgical experiments!
Perhaps I can find a finely worked piece of darning or patching to replace this disconcerting verse.