I Wish You Wouldn’t Say, “I Wish You Wouldn’t.”

My joy, of course, is just to do what pleases,
So I wish you wouldn't say, "I wish you wouldn't."
Just bear with me, and when I do a thing
I shouldn't,

Refrain from saying, "Dear, I wish you wouldn't."
For I bet you probably already knew it...
That when you wish I wouldn't do a thing,
I sorta wanna DO IT.

Like when you wish I wouldn't yell
"AAAAUNT JUDY!" when I sneeze,
And you know it's only you and not
Your sister that I tease.

Cuz I wouldn't sneeze "AAAAUNT JUDY!"
When she's here... a terrible gaffe,
And I only sneeze, "AAAAUNT JUDY!"
Cuz it makes the children laugh.

And though I know you wish I were
A more compliant spouse,
There's precious little laughter in a
"Wish-you-wouldn't" house.

Like when you wish I wouldn’t
Make you read these dopey pomes,
Then write your battered-woman studies **
And make ME read the tomes

Because each one must be proofread,
And I catch the typos in it...
But you can’t read a dopey pome
That only takes a minute?

And I wish you’d find another theme than
Sexual assault.   It makes me queasy...
All that body function stuff I hate
And you find easy.

And don't think I haven't seen that list you're making for your mom
Of all the things I do you think I shouldn't.
OK, she’s lonely and she needs a laugh, OK.
Make your little list then... but I wish you wouldn't.

You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act.
Had I but time...          O, I could tell you
Generosity, benevolence, and tact

Butter no parsnips at the marriage table
When "I-wish-you-wouldn't" rears its head.
Two or three "Dears-I-wish-you-wouldn't,"
And that whole wedlock, holy nuptial deal is DEAD!

But Dear, you know I couldn't LIVE without you!
Or would or wouldn’t... could or couldn't... shouldn't?
And now you'll say, "You JERK!  You've lost the thread!"
And you'd be right, but dear... I wish you wouldn't.


** Books by Prof. Mary L. Schuster, Writing Studies, University of Minnesota:

          1. The Victim's Voice in the Sexual Misconduct Crisis, Lexington Books (due out in 2019)

          2. Rhetoric and Communication Perspectives on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Policy and

          Protocol Through Discourse.
With Amy Propen. Routledge Press, 2017.

          3. Victim Advocacy in the Courtroom: Persuasive Practices in Domestic Violence and Child Protection

. With Amy Propen. Northeastern University Press

(and 56 other books and articles)