POEM : rest stop.
The temp was 86, I reckoned.
Call of sweet ice caffeine to me beckoned.
My cool dude sons, I told
We gonna get some drinks, super duper cold.
This would be time well spent, I knew
Me and my boys make quite the crew.
We’d chill and chat and talk about Leonidas
And tell stories about creatures that could potentially bite us
One was excited to talk of Athens and Sparta too.
One was not and would rather play peekaboo.
where there’s a way there’s a will
And where’s there’s this guy there’s a pill.
Strolled into the conditioner cooled place
Thump thump Ace of Bass smile to my face
Boys, we gonna hang in here a real short while
You be good for pops, please go the extra mile?
The seven nods, the one-year toots
Old guys look up, mustachioed cowboy coots
Little fists my chest for YES
Relief immediate I have to confess,
We gonna chill guys, I firmly say
Boy look up: I obey dad, pretty much almost every day.
So here the plan
Clock go tick tick man
We keep a low profile
Then we leave after a little while
I order my drink while one boy starts math
The other one, I notice, needs a bath
But his help is immense
As he shakes my wallet of dollar and cents
Set him down to the floor,
He make a run for the door
Hey you buddy! I shout!
That whole low key thing, what that about?
He looks around frantically, frenetic concern
That his whereabouts I’ll soon completely discern
I already have, certainly so
Because I am dad, and I told him no go.
His eyes scan the coffeehouse place
And search for a comrade kinda face.
He sees a middle age man
And swiftly devises a plan,
Waddling over to overstuffed chair
He points and he grunts like an underfed bear.
His Morse code bleeps and dot dashes
Are too incomprehensible for the man with mustaches.
I stalk over to both parties of men
He wants outside, I explain, but that’s somewhere he’s already been
Boy puffs and he huffs and he gets super mad,
But I remind him again of who is still dad.
You’re not escaping from here,
I remind him.
Your mind is bright but your memory is dim.
I win, I win again, I win all the time,
And whoever you bribe, will take more than a dime.
He listened real close , well most
except for two teen girls to whom he could boast.
In line they stood for some afternoon treat
A beverage to nullify eighty six heat.
He attracted their attention with focused intention,
His plan was something I’d rather not mention
But involved a loud thunder from down under,
His diaper shaking, almost ripped super asunder.
They giggled and chuckled and smiled at him.
That was all needed to blow kisses to them.
Low profile! I hissed.
The idea was that we’d never be missed.
He laughed and climbed up out of my lap.
Please oh please I breathed; maybe a nap?
Upon the communal table we shared
He laid down his plumb body and head blond haired
Stretching out to full length on back
He gathered lungs for a vocal attack
Attack of the singing boy song
Who might ever think it to be very wrong?
Well, when a profile presence tiny is what you’ve desired
But singsonging diaper poet instead is what has been hired
Then the table dancing song sing diaper man
Is simply not on the list of good plan, no nuh uh man.
I turn to help other son with some numbers
Instead make mistake and brain feeling dead or under deep slumbers.
The escape artist sees a break and makes it happen
Irrepressible spirit no thwarten or dampen.
He runs to a friendly 20ish fellow
Who perhaps seems appropriately mellow.
The year old criminal marches up to this millennial cool dude
With the moxie and grace of a hipster elite attitude
And picks up his juice bottle and keys
With nothing so much as a please
I race over and redact them from dirty fat hand
And scream what did you super not understand?
He cries for a while
But five seconds after with apparentless guile
He smiles and points to the newspaper stand.
Look I say but don’t touch.
If you do, I won’t probably like you more much.
He obeys letter of law and leaves the Wall Street Journal alone
But begins scampering up newspaper RACK to climbing skills hone.
He gets up ten feet or so,
Stops to smile at me far down below
I shake my head and sigh with sadness
I thought we’d relax here, but it’s simply been madness
My drink is melting in sad little plastic
I thought this would be some relaxing fantastic
I reach up high to lift him all the way down
He disagrees with decision and scowls noisy clown frown.
But back at his seat he sits content
With a book that cost a buck ninety-nine cent
There’s animals in it and pictures of cows too
He lets the whole place know that chickens say cock-a-doodle-moo
But he tires of that whole reading scene soon
And begs and screeches for a knife or a spoon
Cause the best soundtrack for relaxation
In this beautiful nation of creation
Is to drum the beat of your heart
With something loud and noisy and do your part
To fill a room with huge massive noise
And remind everyone you’re not of those demure quiet boys
We finally at last do start to depart
I mentally list what to purchase at the grocery mart
As I drag him out under my arms
I remember a picture of sweet orangutan farms
And consider the notion of a donation far across the ocean, but ixnay this mental deliberation as a no-go motion
This child is funny and dirty and a little wild too
And has trouble remembering that monkeys don’t moo.
But I am fond of him most of the times
Even when busy with non-felony crimes.
I juggle a backpack some books, and squirmy big little him
And he grabs the lid of my drink by the broad icy brim
With grubby fingers he yank and yink
Too late instincts react as my heart sank and then sink.
He pulls the straw fully all out
And draws his arm back, five feet or so there is no doubt
He winds it around like a big league thrower
This boy who sprout up faster than a big weed grower
And he snaps the straw like a personal challenge or dare
With a laugh, a toot, and an air of what do I care?
The coffee drops fly in slow motion
Like a tidal wave from the deep ocean
I don’t stop to see where they land
Because customers won’t understand
They’ll growl at me and say why didn’t you raise him cute?
And before I’ll reply, he’ll cackle and smile and make a big toot.
So we’ll fly out of there really fast
Before I’m beat up and wearing a cast,
And I’ll remember so well, fleeing pell mell
This relaxation hour of coffee shop h-e-l-l.
And know that he’ll sleep super good tonight and be well rested
After another full day of dad battle-tested...
...oh no, please tell me he didn’t just drink half my fully-caffeinated coffee...
Some new buds. Kody, Christian, Jacob, and Cody (l to r).
If you look closely at the middle of the photograph, there's also a really short person.
“He’s gonna be a shredder,”
Super neat humans. Thanks guys. There’s always people looking up to you.