Get Me a Switch from the Willow Tree
I was playing too hard and strayed from our yard
To the shade of the old willow tree
When a neighbor called out and let out a shout
He’s over here, Esther, with me.
My mother walked over, through the yard laced with clover
And pulled on my arm as she said,
“You’re not s’posed to go, from our yard to and fro
Or your bottom will have to be red.”
“Go get me a switch from the willow tree
And it better not be too thin
Lest I’ll go get another, bigger switch- angry mother
And whip you ‘til you lose that grin.”
Henrietta and Gladys, Mary and Norma
And mothers who lived on our street
Shared from the tree to keep order and peace
And control where we went with our feet
When cold winds would blow with the road deep in snow
Our moms would keep us from the slush
And bypass the willow, still we’d sit on a pillow
Cause then they would spank with a brush.
Jimmy and Danny, Donna and Peggy,
Many others and Mike and Pat
Knew the willow and sometimes the pillow
Our mothers would all see to that.
The switches were blessed with the willow tree’s zest
And the kids knew it stung with each whack
But try as we may, if we cheated at play
We found our moms sending us back.
As we became parents directing our kids
Who begged us for safety and rules
We tried discipline, but they’d do it again
Treating their parents like fools.
Then…We’d look for a tree, an old willow tree
And tell them to get us a switch
Or stay in “Time Out” and don’t give a shout
And don’t even act like you itch.