The Eternal Greeting

A poem by Ringgold Wilmer Lardner

What is the welcoming word I hear
When I reach home at the close of day?
"Glad you are with us, daddy, dear?"
Something I'd like to hear you say?
No, it is this, invariably:
"Daddy, what have you got for me?"

"Deep affection," I might reply;
What would it profit if I did?
I might answer: "The price to buy
Clothes and edibles for you, kid."
You would repeat, insistently:
"Daddy, what have you got for me?"

Isn't my Self enough for you?
Doesn't my Presence satisfy?
No, that spelling would never do;
You want Presents, a new supply,
When you inquire so eagerly:
"Daddy, what have you got for me?"

'Twould be much nicer and cheaper, son,
If I were welcome without a toy,
But as I'm not, I must purchase one
And take my reward from your look of joy
When you open the bundle and cry: "O, see!
See what daddy has got for me!"

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