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  • John M. Campbell

Sarah's Graduation

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

I wrote this poem to commemorate the graduation of my daughter, Sarah, from the University of Illinois. She earned two bachelor's degrees, one in Biology and one in Psychology, certainly an achievement to celebrate. At the time I wrote this, I was expecting she would find a job and get off the family payroll. Instead, she elected to continue her education, earning a masters degree in Psychology as well.

Sarah’s Graduation

Some two and twenty years ago

She burst upon this planet.

Her journey we now celebrate;

That birth was what began it.

But how could we foresee it all?

The joy we would inflict

Upon ourselves with one so small?

Not something you’d predict.

Each night at three a.m., or two,

She’d wake up to be fed.

And as she suckled, she would coo,

Then she’d go back to bed.

We learned as soon as she could talk

That she’d negotiate.

“How many bites of corn?” she had

To know befo’ she ate.

But then, when she was barely three,

Her brother joined the family.

She realized, unhappily,

Here’s someone tinier than she.

This one whom Mom and Dad adored,

She took him from the bassinet.

We found him singing in the dark

Inside the kitchen cabinet.

A stint is Juvee Hall has cured

Her tendency toward crime.

With four years spent in Illinois

She’s more than done her time.

Her journey has brought beauty, fame,

And fortune to this grad.

Well, maybe not the fortune, but

Two outta three ain’t bad.

For sure the two degrees she earned

Have proven her endurance,

But now, by Jove, it’s time she learned

To pay for her insurance!

She’s reached a crossroads in her life:

She’s reached Grand Central Station.

She stands before the giant board

That shows each destination.

She holds two tickets in her hands,

One’s Psych, the other’s Bio,

And if she’s careful with her plans,

She might get past Ohio.

Congratulations, Daughter

John M. Campbell

May 2005

Next Poem: A Prince of the Court

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