Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The First Day of Finals

‘Twas the first day of finals and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.
I’d given exams, read o’er them with care,
I’d entered the grades; I’d pushed back my chair.

“Home early!” I’d cried, and I’d stood with delight,
So happy to exit the school before night.
But Pa had more grading, more papers, more work.
‘Twould be a poor choice, his duties to shirk.

The girl had rehearsal for her role in Shrek.
The teach’ had the cast at her call and beck.
Rehearsals were daily, no days off—no, nary one.
I sulked, ‘til I saw my good friend, the librarian!

She offered a ride and my hopes again soared.
Home before dark! We climbed into her Ford!
(It wasn’t a Ford. ‘Twas a Volvo instead,
But what rhymes with Volvo? No word in my head.)

We drove and we chatted, we chatted and drove;
Then into my driveway. Home early, by Jove!  
My son was at home, his music, outrageous;
We be-bopped and danced; my joy was contagious.

The options! The choices! The things I could do!
For I had come home before dark; it was true!
I changed out of school clothes, to jeans, boots and hat.
I rubbed the dog’s belly; I patted the cat.

Then outside I went, not a care in the world.
I was free! Do you hear? I whirled and I twirled.
I strolled and I sauntered; I raced and I panted;
I whistled and watched the sun’s rays get quite slanted.

Before day was lost, I’d walk to the store.
I’d make a great dinner, my love I’d outpour.
Some sushi, some veggies, some hummus and chips,
Some cheese and some more cheese, some treats for our hips.

And I needed this, and he needed that…
I found, checking out, my bag was quite fat.
‘Twas heavy, as well, and my house a far hike.
But I’m from Montana, and I’m no mere tyke.

I hoisted the grocery bag onto my back,
Put my arms through the straps, and made a crude pack.
It wasn’t ideal, and by then it had darkened,
But dinner was calling my name, and I hearkened.

I carried my load down the streets, through the door.
I laid out the goods, set the table for four.
A wonderful day it had been, and now dinner!
Pa and the kids would declare me the winner.

But then came the texts: Son was out with some friends.
Daughter went on to youth group. Pa would stay ‘til it ends.
It was me and the dinner, the dinner and me,
And the house was too quiet, without those dear three.

I would eat by myself, with the dog begging scraps.
I’d find something to do—write a poem perhaps.
‘Twas the first day of finals and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse...


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