Frank O'Hara

Here you will find the Poem Ave Maria of poet Frank O'Hara

Ave Maria

Mothers of America
 let your kids go to the movies
get them out of the house so they won't
 know what you're up to
it's true that fresh air is good for the body
 but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by
 silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you
 they won't hate you
they won't criticize you they won't know
 they'll be in some glamorous
they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or
 playing hookey
they may even be grateful to you
 for their first sexual experience
which only cost you a quarter
 and didn't upset the peaceful
they will know where candy bars come
 and gratuitous bags of popcorn
as gratuitous as leaving the movie before
 it's over
with a pleasant stranger whose apartment
 is in the Heaven on
 Earth Bldg
near the Williamsburg Bridge
 oh mothers you will have made
 the little
so happy because if nobody does pick
 them up in the movies
they won't know the difference
 and if somebody does it'll be
 sheer gravy
and they'll have been truly entertained
 either way
instead of hanging around the yard
 or up in their room hating you
prematurely since you won't have done
 anything horribly mean
except keeping them from life's darker joys
 it's unforgivable the latter
so don't blame me if you won't take this
 and the family breaks up
and your children grow old and blind in
 front of a TV set
movies you wouldn't let them see when
 they were young