Three 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.


Similar Brains

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.

Hal Sirowitz