My Mother’s Advice

— Dennis Richardson

I don’t know about you, but when I was six,
After the toilet had overflowed again,
My mother told me to use just three
Squares of toilet paper per wipe.
She then proceeded to show me how to fold it
And the technique of the wiping.

Sometimes now I need a larger square.
I don’t know why she didn’t tell me
About the times I’d need a larger square.
That, in fact, a rectangle would be better,
Not that I need a rectangle all the time.
Being good at math it was easy for me
To do an under-fold of the squares so that
I got a rectangle of about one side by
One and a third, using just four squares.
I thought she wouldn’t mind my using
Four squares now.

I guess it was all part of the process,
The one my therapist called the individuation
Process, a process I guess I was woefully slow
At completing. But I did invent the rectangle,
Well not the rectangle per se but a TP one,
And from that, went to college, studied engineering.

Maybe you’ve done this too or something like it.
Maybe it wasn’t the big deal for you like it was for me,
To finally separate, as she called it. The only thing is,
I’m not really sure I ever did.

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