Sunday, February 16, 2014


i don’t want to be cute!
i hate being adorable!

when you want to
have muscles
and body hair
and drive a car

this is,
to a boy of six
with three older brothers—

a curse.

the curse of cuteness.

what do you
want to be?

with no hesitation,
all gumption and flash,
the reply: 


i laugh, and quickly try to stifle it—

because he really means it
i do

get what he’s saying—

he wants to be taken seriously
around here,

a mustachioed man/ninja/t-rex
to be reckoned with,

even if i do still help him
to put on his belt
and slick down the cowlick
on the back of his head.

i nod,
as somber and intent
as if i am making
a most grave and
solemn vow.

just between you and me—

he’s still so cute

it’s scary.

© 2014 Jennifer Wagner

shared at poets united poetry pantry


Anonymous said...

perfect close, Jennifer! My teen boys... ~

Brian Miller said...

ha. do appease him and be scared
just a bit at least.
it will go miles with him.

Wendy Bourke said...

This one really tugs at the heartstrings. And a great choice to use italics on the conversation, which is integrated into the piece seamlessly. (Speaking personally, I have found popping between conversation and ponderings-of-the-mind very tricky.) You're done it well - and to great effect in this utterly charming poem. Love it, Jennifer!

Sumana Roy said...

aww...this is cute indeed....

Donna Smith said...

Oh, and this post is so cute it's scary! So, so true. You were so smart not to laugh! But it is so hard not to. I remember statements like that and needing to take them seriously - because he does - all the while trying to keep the scene and words in my mind so I could tell my husband later, and we could laugh together later beyond his listening ears!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

My niece is going through this phase now. She hates being called cute and she hates when people say "awww" lol.

RMP said...

adorable! (, "scary.")
poor little one, even in wanting to be scary (serious) he his naturally adorably cute. I enjoyed this ... especially since I didn't need to curb my laugh.

kelvin s.m. said...

Ha.. funny how cute this was, Jennifer. A unique writing from you that I really enjoyed. Smiles.

Mary said...

Ah, this made me smile. What a delightful write! I can understand HIS reasoning, and I can also understand just how very cute he is. Smiles.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

When one is only six years old, one never can be taken seriously it seems!!! That very cute wanting to be older:)


Magyar said...

The forecast of this cuteness Jennifer?
...when he's eighteen, he'll long to be called 'cute' buy the girls.
Smiles! _m

brudberg said...

Ah.. and yes .. he will stay cute for many years more... and frankly there will come a time when he love to be cute.

Loredana Donovan said...

Aww ... as children why is it that we want to grow up so fast ... then as we get older we often want to turn back time ... so typical of human nature, right? I enjoyed your poem and interaction with your son ... you really have such a loving relationship ... sweet and yes cute!!! :)

janetld said...

I love "he's still so cute it's scary." Great read from start to finish.

Unknown said...

You took me right into the psyche of the youngest brother. I like your line breaks and the flow of the piece. Good job!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is ADORABLE. Kids are the best! Loved it, Jennifer.