At fifteen, my eldest daughter looked a great deal like her mother,
But when she’d get excited about one thing or another,
She would break out in a rash from her head to her toe –
And quick as it came, just as quick it would go.

I asked the doctor one day what he thought it could be,
He said, he would not like to say until the rash he’d see.
Soon her brother needed an operation for appendicitis –
While the doctor was there, this girl got very excited.

I said “doctor, there’s your rash now, what can it be?”
“Oh, that’s just a nervous reaction when she’s affected emotionally –
Nothing at all for you to be alarmed about,
It’s just when her nerves go haywire, it causes this breaking out. “

My second daughter, when she was in high school, by the way
Said to me when she came home from school one day –
“Mother, I’d like to know what it is comes over me
Just all of a sudden I get as nervous as can be –

Today when we were having a test in chemistry, my hand starts to shake,
No one could ever read all the scratches that I make.
Then it’s gone just as quickly as it comes,
But while it lasts, I’m telling you, it is anything but fun. “

Then she showed me her paper, and it was just as plain as day,
When this nervousness came on her, and when it passed away.
I showed the paper to the doctor, saying “what could this be?”
“Oh!” he said, “just a little nervous reaction when she’s affected emotionally.

“And my advice to cure this kind of emotional expression,
Is the next time she has a test in chemistry, she study her lesson. “
It was just a short time after that, they called on me one day
To speak before a group studying poetry at the Y. W. C. A.

Well, I write it and I recite it, but there is plenty I don’t know
About that little seed that makes the poets grow.
Thought I’d look in the dictionary to see what it had to say
As to what makes poets out of people, as they travel along life’s way.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that definition –
The first thing to greet my eyes was “emotional expression”
I thought that was as funny as anything could be,
How we could have such a mixture of emotions in one family.

One daughter when she gets emotionally excited, breaks out in a rash;
The second gets the jitters that turns her writing into hash.
The best of the family’s emotions was somehow left to me,
For when mother gets emotional, she breaks out in poetry.

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