Poems by Hal Sirowitz
Ducks At Peace
I'd like to take my family to the lake,
Father said, so they could see how well
the animal & fish kingdoms get along.
You hardly ever see ducks fighting.
If they do, it's done in private.
We should follow their example,
& not air our dirty laundry in public.
That was what I told your mother
at the restaurant, that she should
save her complaints for when we
get home. She said she had already
complained there. She was hoping
she'd get better results if she changed locations.
I don't like to use your older sister
as an example, Father said, because
I'm afraid you might think I'm encouraging you
to imitate her bad habits.
Unfortunately, she has lots of those.
I'm only bringing her up
to remind you that she gets high grades.
Your brains must be somewhat similar,
since you both have the same parents.
The only difference is she is using hers
at school & not at home. You're using yours
at home & not at school. I want you to use them both places.
What Waking Up Means
You should be grateful that I woke you up,
Father said, rather than having your alarm clock
do it. It's ineffective. You shut it off
the moment it rings. Then you go back
to sleep & don't get out of bed
until three hours later. Yet, you claim
you woke up at the time the alarm was set.
When I removed the covers from your bed
while you were still using them I was showing you
what waking up means. I know that made you
very unhappy, but you're no longer permitted
to make up your own definitions.
From now only you can only use
the ones that are in the dictionary.