Dad had many sayings:
No matter what you think,
There is a lid for every pot!
But we knew we’d really boiled
His patience into jelly
When with wide eyes he whispered,
By Roosevelt’s horse’s belly!
We don’t know where it came from
We don’t know what it meant
Except it was time for our
Misbehaving to relent.
T.R., I bet, would dig the line
Most likely, too, his horse.
His horse’s belly would think it
Poetry, of course
Even better than the classic
One-worder of Ted’s, “Bully!”,
Its cousin, Dad’s much longer fave,
“By Roosevelt’s horse’s belly!”
Mom got new rain boots
Red, rubber, and tall.
Dad asked, “How’d you choose those?”
Mom said, “They’re cool. That’s all.”
Now my Mom’s no liar
But I thought, nonetheless,
Let’s take those cool boots
And put’em to the test.
So when she was too busy
To stop my experiment
I took some cold milk
And into her boots it went.
Like a good scientist
I let my test tube be
And went off to play
For an hour or three.
Perhaps it was longer
I lost track when Mom screamed,
The unexpected milk
In her boot had her steamed.
I said, “Wait one sec, Mom,
Take a breath, cool down.
Allow me to measure that
Milk puddle on the ground.”
Once I had I said, “Mom,
I’d be angry too!
This spilled milk is warm.
So those boots? Not so cool.”
The thing that they sold you
Is not what you bought.
It seems in some faux-thermo-boot-scam you’re caught!”
Overcome with shock
Or maybe with grief
Like anyone who’s been
Taken by a thief
She said not a word but just looked at me,
And I wondered perhaps if deep down she felt glee
At her little scientist’s new discovery.
Yes, I thought to myself, pride must be what I see.
My sister’s dance recycle was held this afternoon
The open was a fresh take on the classic “Brigadoon.”
The ballerinas stole Act II updating “Claire de Loon”,
Next came a Modern version of “The Ballad of Rocky Raccoon.”
Throughout it all I snacked on extra crunchy Lorna Doones,
Which the Tap Dance Troop’s clicks covered to a new “Angelina, Zooma-Zoom.”
From where this event got its name,
at first I had no clue:
There were no boogeying bottles or can-canning cans.
But after seeing the old songs
rethunk, reduced, and reused
“Dance Recycle” is now a name I understand.
“Kids, grab your picks and shovels
and come along with me,
We’re headed on a voyage
of thrilling discovery!
It’s been so long since we’ve seen it,”
Dad with excitement said,
“And this will be like a safari …
Let’s tape flashlights to our heads!
We’ll set out like explorers
Who knows what is in store?
On this adventure quest
For the Lost Family Room Floor!
We’ll search beneath the pillows,
The building blocks and blankets,
We’ll push past all the heaps of dolls
And mountain range of trinkets!
And with hard work and good luck
If we persevere
If through drums and balls and train sets
We’re able to steer,
Maybe we can find it,
That myth from days of yore,
That deeply buried, long lost treasure
The Fabled Family Room Floor!”
One day we were driving
When Sister yelled, “Potty!”
So off-road Dad drove,
Then Sis whispered, “Nah. Sorry.”
One day Sis cried, “Potty!”
So Mom hit the brakes.
At the next gas station,
Sister giggled, “Nope. My mistake.”
Then one day Sis screamed, “Potty!”
This time Mom and Dad both said, no.
Only that time, we soon learned,
Sister really did have to go.
Mom by accident I put your make-up on.
Accidentally I moved the plunger in the car from in the john.
By accident I got turpentine on the ceiling fan.
Somehow I found a way to melt papayas in the van.
How all of this happened I wish I could tell you more
But I can’t escape my room, there’s gobs of gum in the lock on the door.
Why yes, you’re right it happened accidentally, of course!
Always welcome to your home
guests who say they’ll break your “things,”
when icicles are what they mean by “things.”