Monday, April 26, 2010

Five Times, With Feeling

Your sweaty-socked feet dangle over the lazy-Boy,
the tv a constant blare of video and comics,
notebooks and popcorn bowl scattered about,
so much tween-age detritus.

Please, take out the garbage.

Bart Simpson mocks Homer, then whizzes off
on a cartoon bicycle. A low grunt erupts from
behind the armchair, your foot swings back and forth.

The garbage. Now, please.

You reach for the phone, half ring; your voice
sounds an octave lower even as you crank back
the armchair, prostate to afternoon sun seeping
through the neglected jade and philodendron.

Son. Take out the garbage. Now.

A disgruntled sigh, the phone clatters on the endtable
beside the glass sweating cola rings on veneer.


The volume ratchets up, closing credits reel by,
arms and legs disappear behind the safety of corduroy.
A microsecond of silence.

Please, son, would you take out the garbage?

Sure, mom.


Prompt: 5 times

Peace, Linda


  1. Ah, Linda... I remember those days well. I suspect i will be doing that to my kid pretty soon. Another elegant post so very well presented.

  2. I've heard of this type of thing.

    mine have learned I'm a 3 timer and after that the garbage will be in their bed. It only took once :-)

    BTW I have now sent on the last of the missing 3...Tony's holding :-)

  3. this is why I don't have kids..

  4. These days aren't too far off for me. Right now it's "Honey, please clean up your room."

    The first stanza sets the scene perfectly.

  5. Five strikes?
    I kind of like Paige's approach, but dumping garbage in my 3 year old's room would probably be an improvement to the Barbies-Mermaids-Princesses floor decor.


  6. Thanks all! Oh believe me, Will gets 3 strikes, but the prompt, ya know...