The Bargain
©1994 Linda Allen

The Bargain

Climbing trees and skinned up knees
Always running wild
She knew her parents loved her, but
She was a problem child
She wore her brother's jeans and shirts
Her mother said, "ok -
But when you turn thirteen, my girl,
You'll have to change your ways"

It was the bargain that they made
It was the price she had to pay
If life was not all she would hope
Her time would come, she'd learned to cope
And though a few small dreams might fade
It was the bargain that they made

Married in 1955
To the high school baseball star
She thought she'd bought her freedom
He drove the fastest car
She thought she'd work a year or two
Maybe go to school someday
Her husband said, "My wife can't work -
What would the neighbors say?" CHORUS

So she stayed at home for fifteen years
She'd cook & clean and sew
Raised the kids with loving hands
Loved to watch them grow
Had the boss to dinner
And she kept her husband's books
They laughed about the feminists
She worried 'bout her looks


When the kids got older
She volunteered her time
And when her husband started school
She went to work part time
When her sister's husband left her
For a woman half his age
She thought about the feminists
She understood the rage

Now the kids are on their own
Her husband sometimes grieves
For his children's laughs and hugs
He never could receive
How a man could give his life and heart
To an office far away
His wife just held him as he talked
There was nothing she could say

It was the bargain that they made
It was the price he had to pay
If life was not all he would hope
His time would come, he'd learned to cope
And though a few small dreams might fade
It was the bargain that they made