Friday, November 05, 2010

POEM: Waiting for the Bathroom

the last of my four children has lain siege to the bathroom,
a bloody battle, with barricades and foxholes, replete with its own fog of war
and collateral damage
of depleted ozone and the hazmat yellow of a superfund site
defending the honor of young female adulthood about which I have no business

what can she be doing in there?

how can it possibly take her this long to get ready for bed?

the house is stuffed with cotton. the others are gone, ghosts now wander the gray-black light of late nights, watery shadows of text books and dishes left in the sink now just a wish.

off at school or in their own place, off in their own time and pacing.

it wasn’t always like this.

there was once the quaking of Rock Band, the thump of rap and the jittery twang of world music in every corner of every room. There were the Scattergories and Buzzword marathons, all night Harry Potter and everlasting sleepless sleepovers.

but now my bathroom door is a monolith. singly massive.
for me, an anchor.
i breathe easier knowing she is here and mine and for now, in our bathroom doing whatever it is that 18 year old girls do before going to bed.

it’s her bedtime story to me. i listen and grow sleepy. i read a little longer, think how good it feels for her to be in that room and for me to swim against the
tide of this
arduous waiting


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