Table Manners

by Joan Horton
If I were to make up the etiquette rules,
it wouldn’t be too impolite
to reach for the biggest dessert on the tray
and gobble it down in one bite;
to beat on my brother with drumsticks;
eat corn on the cob with my toes;
stand up on my chair and shout, “Food fight!”
hang string beans right out of my nose.

I’d say it’s okay to blow bubbles in milk;
to dribble and slobber and slurp;
to yackety-yak with my mouth full of food,
then swallow and let out a burp.
It wouldn’t be crude to bounce meatballs,
to hide all the veggies I hate,
stick bubble gum under the table,
or lick all my fingers and plate.

And after I made up the etiquette rules
there’s one other thing I would do.
Whenever my parents are eating,
I’d make them obey the rules, too.

Text © Joan Horton, reprinted from Miles of Smiles published by Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Stephen Carpenter. Any copying or use of this poem or illustration without consent is unlawful.

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