Tomboy

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

There's a little girl I know
And we call her So-and-So.
She is neither good nor bad
Good enough for me although!
Never saw a girl that had
More real life in her, or more
Of what people christen go;
Pretty too as she is poor.

So-and-So is not her name
But her nickname. She's to blame
For it being named that way:
For she often starts some game,
And, when asked what 't is we play,
She just answers, "I don't know.
It's a good game just the same;
And I call it So-and-So."

Other girls don't like her, no;
Just because she's So-and-So;
Call her names like Tomboy, or
Wildcat, just as girls will do
When a girl is popular
With the boys and does n't care
Much for girls, and 's pretty, too,
With blue eyes and golden hair.

I would give most anything
Just to hear her laugh and sing,
Dance, too. She is funnier
Than a circus and its ring;
And no boy can out-run her,
Or out-dare her. And, oh my!
You should see her in a swing,
Streaking it into the sky!

She's the girl that suits me; yes,
And suits all the boys, I guess:
Never backward; always in
For some picnic, more or less.
Take your top and wind and spin;
Or play marbles; fly a kite;
Or, if needs be, in a mess
She can just pitch in and fight.

Let some big boy dare to touch,
Bully some small boy or such,
She's right at him saying, "You
Great big coward! need a crutch
By the time that I get through!"
And she's bright at school, although
She don't have to study much
As some other girls I know.

Once two weeks went by and she
Had just disappeared; you see
Had n't come to play or call:
She was sick apparently;
And we made it up that all
All the boys, or some, should go
And find out what it could be,
And report on So-and-So.

Well, what do you think! Declare,
When we rang the door-bell, there
At the door she stood as bright,
Brighter ev'n, with nice combed hair,
In an apron spotless white:
And she smiled and seemed so glad:
But about her was an air
Of importance she'd not had.

Was the same yet not the same.
And when I began to blame,
She just stopped me with a bow,
Saying, "Boys, I've changed my name.
I've a little brother now
Baby-brother. Don't you know?
Takes the place of every game,
And I call him So-and-So."

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