//cry , don't laugh
Cry, Don't Laugh
Mrs. Peabody Three had a lifelong horror
of laughing when she knew she hadn't oughter.
In early days when she was in trouble,
the former Miss Larchmont would silently double
over with smiles, guffaws, stifled giggling,
when she'd caused her parents awful suffering,
then be spanked with a college paddle of wood
for not being good, doing what she should.
Later, with punishment corporeal gone,
she continued to giggle at things gone wrong.
In kindergarten she wasn't allowed to go
to the school bathroom by mean Miss Devereaux,
so she became the only possible thing,
the chuckling source of an above-ground spring.
Now a grandmother with braids like a crown,
she feels that she sometimes lets her family down,
when she gets the giggles during a ceremony,
like Charles Lamb at funerals, inappropriately.