1

the critics

Captivated moths singed their wings just to be near her brilliance. Alas, her luminosity also attracted leeches. They sucked out every ounce of satisfaction. Courage siphoned, she snuffed out her own flame lest she shrivel away.

We all fall into bitter darkness.

This week’s ultimate question was “Who turned out the light?” I wasn’t sure if this piece of microfiction was working the way I wanted, so I wrote and submitted a different answer here.

16

the clock says

It’s too late to play with your toys;
Your blocks know it’s time to be snoring.
The clutter should hibernate now.
Please turn to a pastime more boring.
It’s lights out for other small boys;
They snuggle in beds and are snoozing.
This romping, your mom can’t allow.
She cries out, “This isn’t amusing!”

The clock says, “You ought to be dreaming.”

It’s too late to dance on the couch
‘Mid sheep that have yet to be tallied.
The cushions are scattered about.
For too long sweet slumber has dallied.
Your eyelids are hoping to slouch;
Your mother’s are already drooping.
The lamps wish you’d put their lights out.
“Our bulbs need a break from your whooping!”

The clock says, “You ought to be dreaming.”

It’s too late to jump on the bed.
The sheets think you ought to be quiet.
The dog begs you, “Give it a rest!”
His barking will soon cause a riot.
Your pillow is seeking your head;
Your blanket is longing to swaddle.
The box springs just groan in protest.
The mattress moans, “Why do you dawdle?”

The clock says, “You ought to be dreaming.”

It’s too late to laugh at the moon.
It’s time that you stifled your giggles.
Your mom croons a wordless night song,
Then urges you, “Hush! Cease your wiggles.”
Now cherish the lullaby’s tune;
Recline ’till you’re deep in the covers.
Your breathing will slow before long.
“Goodnight,” sighs your mom as she hovers.

The clock says, “I see you are dreaming.”

2

Sunday Slideshow: sledding

“Philip, do you want to go outside and play?”

Instead of a verbal answer, Philip raced out of his room to get his coat. I had to slow him down, first putting his socks on. For the first time ever, he put his own snow pants on. Unfortunately, they were backwards. He had better luck putting on his own boots. By the time I caught up with him, he was already outside.

That’s when I made him cry.

“Philip, you need to get in the car.”

I tried to explain that getting in the car was part of a grand plan for sledding, but Philip was still crying. I couldn’t blame him. I’ve never taken him downhill sledding before. He went once during preschool, but we’ve been depriving him ever since. I guess I’ll chalk it up to it being too cold or not enough snow. Whatever my excuse is, it meant that Philip was not into delaying gratification. He wanted to play outside RIGHT NOW.

I think you’ll see in these photos that he soon cheered up.

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24

past due

such effort to save,

sufficient time allotted.

check: precise penmanship

stamp: firmly affixed

address: large and legible

envelope: sealed.

but then –

The Precious Payment,

carelessly tossed

at a too full blue mailbox,

slid out

fell beneath

blended in with the dirty snow.