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Happy Little Marks

The house seems oddly quiet
And there’s dust to re-arrange.
But the room looks larger than it did
And somehow rather strange.

I smile as I remember
How I'd opened up the door;
And gently peered around it
Checking what lay on the floor!

No need for that this morning
For the children have all gone
Back to school and toddler groups
Now their holiday is done.

The toys are back in boxes
Not much is left behind -
Some music by the keyboard
And a ball is all I find.

Houseplants come out of hiding
And knickknacks reappear
Back on their shelves they're safe again
No fingers need they fear.

As I dust the window sill
I glance upwards through the pane
And realize I can't see so well
The garden and the lane.

For on the glass are smudges
From hands and fingers small
As they pointed to the little birds
Or at the trees so tall.

On the TV and the bookcase
More have been left to show
Where their owners tried to pat a dog
Or open up a door.

Each hand print holds a memory
As I carry out my work
And the wonder of a child’s young life
Shows in each happy little mark.

© copyright: Elizabeth M. Tolson, 26th February 2001.


This poem was written after four of our grandchildren had been visiting. The expression “Happy Little Marks” was one my grandmother always used. She had been a nanny in her youth and knew what she was talking about.
The poem is for all parents and grandparents – in fact anyone who has ever cleared up after children have been around.
I once heard a well known TV news reader say that one of the nicest feelings he knew was to return home after the children were in bed and find the television covered in smudges where they had kissed Daddy goodnight.

What wonderful things Happy Little Marks are!



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