I Can

Marlo Thomas, “That Girl.”

My mother subscribed to several periodicals, among them, TV GUIDE. Many years ago, there was an interview in TV GUIDE with Marlo Thomas when she starred in the series “That Girl.” I couldn’t wait to retreat to my bedroom and curl up and read the interview. In it, she referenced a poem her father, Danny Thomas, had given her. Even as a child, I realized the power of those words. I tore the glossy page from the magazine with the excerpt from I Can, folded it into a small square and placed it in my wallet. Through my adolescence and young adulthood, whenever I needed encouragement, I took out that piece of paper, unfolded it and read those words. Although my wallet and the glossy magazine page disintegrated long ago, the encouraging words live on in my heart.

I CAN, by Edgar A. Guest

Can’t is a word that is foe to ambition;
an enemy ambush to shatter your will.
Its prey is forever the man with a mission;
and bows only to courage, and patience, and skill.

So hate it with hatred that’s deep and undying,
for once it is welcomed twill break any man.
And whatever the goal you are seeking, Keep trying!
And answer this demon by saying, “I Can!”

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