Thursday, June 26, 2008


I just had to steal another sister poem...only this one is not from my usual poet sister. This one is from ANOTHER sister who, apparently, has a writing gene too.

She wrote this one after sitting outside enjoying the summer breeze and a cigarette to calm her nerves while on a break from her usual 12-hour shift as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher. She had just been standing by on the phone with a man who was having a heart attack and listening in as the paramedics worked on the man who was more concerned about leaving his dog alone than he was about his failing heart.


On a day like to today, I wish I had my old job back.

The job I had when I was seven years old.

My office was at Hannon Park.

My morning commute consisted of heading down Semmes Avenue, crossing Dauphin Street, then cutting through the synagogue parking lot and the only road hazards or detours were my bare-feet dodging the blacktop for the cool grass on the shoulder of the road.

I wish my wardrobe consisted of nothing but a bathing suit
with a towel draped around my shoulders and uncombed hair.

I wish my biggest health concern today were watching out
for stickers in the grass as I walk across the park to the wading pool.

I wish my power-lunch for today was a Fudgesicle bought
from the ice cream truck and water sipped from a concrete water fountain.

I wish my biggest disappointment today was that Mrs. Brooks
(the park lady) had already handed the “Candy-Land” game
out to some other kid.

I wish my goal for today was to be able to hold my breath
under water longer than the other kids.

The only committee I wish to be on today is the one whose project
is to make a giant whirlpool by swimming around and around
and around and around the pool with a bunch of other kids.

The only dare I really want to take is how high I can go on the swings
or if I can open my eyes under water.

The only workout I want to do is pushing the seesaw
off the ground on my end and having my best friend return the favor.

The only worldly possession I would care to have today is my own pair of goggles.

The only fortune I’d care to amass would be the coins we tossed
on the bottom of the pool and found over and over again.

I wish my commute home today consisted of walking home with sunburned shoulders and cheeks and the feel of a wet towel draped around my neck.

On a day like today I wish I were heading home,
hungry and exhausted with a hot meal waiting
and a free pass on the bath tonight.

I wish I could fall asleep to the hum of an attic fan
and dream of doing it all over again tomorrow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gone Again

R & R has come and gone. Sprout is very well and was happy to be back in the States. He seemed to be enjoying himself a lot. By the time I got to see him, his wife had him chilling out and relaxed and smiling and I was glad. The grandkids and I drove over to spend a couple of days and he did the sight-seeing thing with us. Stoicdad was laid up with a brand new knee so Sprout had to make a trip here to see him. Sproutette was never more than two feet away from him or him from her. He played with the kids, especially Sgt. York who thinks Sprout is a super-hero. We went to the aquarium and he even showed the kids a "haunted house" right up the street from where they were staying. The kids loved looking into the haunted mailbox, but the Little General put her foot down when it came to going up on the haunted porch. Sprout got a kick out of that. He seems none the worse for wear and yet, he is not the boy I sent to the Army. He's a man. The days went by much too fast and I slept better then I have slept in a while. Sproutette fixed us dinner one night and I so enjoyed standing at the sink washing dishes and listening to them all laughing together in the next room. A happy soldier is a safe soldier.

And sadly, Sproutette once again kissed him good-bye, hugged him like she couldn't let go and put him on a plane that would take him half a world away. I don't know how military spouses do it. And if the parting at the airport is not enough, there is always that long drive home from the airport, alone. And unlocking the front door to another empty house. But at least it's all downhill from here and as Sprout put it, poking fun at the fly boys, "I'm just an Air Force deployment away from being done". (For those who don't know, the Air Force deploys to Iraq for six months at a time, the Army for fifteen). Anyway, I guess Shakespeare knew what he was talking about when he wrote:

"Good-night, good-night. Parting is such sweet sorrow, ere I say good-night till it be morrow".

Waking up in Uncle Sprout's shirt.