when I rise, silence rolls over
the orderliness like a malaise,
floors are no longer covered
in a jumble of G.I. Joes and
Barbie clothes. Sofa pillows
are not tented to dining table
hiding Winnie-the-Pooh or
Star Wars adventures.
My rooms, empty of toddler
shrieks, of preteen tantrums
and adolescent despair, know
no fun unless company comes.
No longer do I rush to the grocery,
stroller loaded with three preschoolers,
to purchase lunch. No longer do I have
seven loads of laundry to line-dry before
dark, hung on a hunch that getting outside
might save my sanity as much as a dime's
worth of electricity. No need to finish
painting a ceiling before naptime ends.
No need to mend socks or lower
These days I watch what I want on TV
and have all my evenings free instead of
bathing three to a tub, washing hair amid
splashing hubbub, emptying out bath toys,
hearing night prayers, checking homework,
loading the clothes dryer.
Once I taught orderliness by helping with
pick up. I taught tolerance by forgiving
slip-ups. Taught independence with many
a gentle push. Encouraged better behaviors
by naming them new adventures. Today,
home alone, I feel defeated and distressed
dealing with the internet. I'm reticent to blog
or try E-bay. Indolent as the neighbor's dog
lazing on his emerald lawn on a sunny day.
first published in Illinois State Poetry Society
also published in GLORY IN THE ORDINARY Chapbook
also published in Northern Stars Magazine
©2011 Bonnie Manion