Thursday, February 9, 2012

"I Am Tied Down"

Riverdale Methodist Church
Warder Street
Dayton, Ohio
June 4, 1938

N. Clifford Bangham, Minister
52 Warder Street

Dear Dr. Halsey,

I appreciate your kindness in writing about your use of the little poem “Growing.” Although I gave a Mothers’ Day talk I did not think of its being material. Possibly, I shall, another year!

The verse I am enclosing, “I Am Tied Down,” was written at the same time as “Growing,” and, like it, published several years ago in The Parents’ Magazine. I believe you will understand the spirit in which I send it—it seems a sort of “twin-poem.” Both were written when I, as a young preacher’s wife, was finding it difficult to adjust myself to the necessary tasks. A parishioner’s regret that I was so tied down really called forth both poems. They were incidentally among my first to appear in print.

Thank you again for your note. I know your expression is sincere and therefore it is a real help to me.

Cordially yours,

Mary D. Bangham

I AM tied down . . . . .

By . . . clothes lines
On which I hang small blue and lemon-yellow

By strings—just commonplace
White threads
With which I sew on buttons,
Mend wee pockets,
Patch faded threadbare little suits.

Ropes tie me down,
Red jumping ropes—and those that pull
Small wooden animals about.

Young bleeding grimy thumbs there are
To kiss,
And bind with lengths of clean white

And baby arms about my neck . . . . .

Oh, yes . . . I AM tied down . . . thank God!
--Mary D. Bangham

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