2021-02-10T15:43:36-08:00February 10th, 2021|Parenthood|

How I get my kids to clean up

The piles in our house grow
like they’re mating
with each other.

Our stairs get narrower
and it occurs to me
as I almost trip and fall
how sad it would be
if I died in a state
of intense irritation.

I speak calmly
and then sarcastically
and then I do my clapping thing
which has become almost worse
than the shouting
it was supposed to replace.

Finally, I declare
to my family
that piles will be warned
and then incinerated.

I am not sure
if I could do it
or where I would access
an incinerator

but the word felt glorious
coming out of my mouth


like a pirouette
of precise emotion

as though the word itself
was a massive broom
that swept away
all my frustration.

Even my children,
who have since kept the surfaces
bare as bone,
seem bedazzled
by the dangling prospect
of all that abandoned bulk
to ash.

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