A Poem on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

The Pew
by Melissa Neely (Sep 2009)

I stand in the quiet,
The calm and the dark
And wait.

Air comes on and lights go up.
One by one I watch them come,
My family with all their clutter -
One bag, two, crayons askew.

Mom sifts through bags,
Sorts toys, food and crayons,
Baby climbs and whines,
Chews on my back, drools on my rack.

"Sshhh! Say prayer."
Arms fold, bodies still, eyes peak,
A temporary reverence and reprieve,
Passing and grabbing, keep-away and sloshing.

Little ones wiggle and giggle and scribble.
They roll on and under and flail legs in the air.
They wipe their nose, grind Cheerios,
Dinosaurs battle, and cars bang and rattle.

Dad snaps and points and points again;
Then drags one out, crying and begging.
"I can be good" fills the air then fades away.
Sniffles and silence return with Dad.

Big ones read and try to please,
Coaxing little ones to go to sleep,
But music drifts and crayons do shift,
Bags are packed and tossed and smacked.

Hurled and grabbed and dragged,
One by one they file out.
Rushing to and fro they go.
They chat and pass and rush to class.

Lights go off, air winds down.
I stand in the quiet,
The calm and the dark.

And wait.

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Revised October 2009.