Sunday, May 7, 2017

Purple Walrus Press Writers Alley : Poem by Stanzie York.

When was I supposed to do all these things that I don’t ever do?

In the early morning when I get up before you get up?
Before or after a night of letting dogs out and quieting child nightmares?

When would I do these things you say I didn’t do?

When I got the child up, who was screaming and denying school?
When he refused breakfast and toothbrushing and showering?  And dawdled and tantrumed?
I know, while I was making his lunch and checking homework and signing papers and locating a dollar for chips at school.  That’s when.

Or, or…

Before or after I was making coffee and breakfast for everyone and filling dog water bowls?

While, at the same time, I hear you arise leisurely and read your iPad for the latest news and cat videos on Facebook.  Drink coffee.  Check weather.
While you get ready by yourself in the bathroom
While I’m still wrestling with the child who hates mornings.
Maybe I was supposed to be doing these things you say I don’t do…

Sometime when I put myself together for my own small job and slap a little makeup on and search for child’s clothes because it’s the blue shirt, mom, not the red one.

Oh, yes, I could do all this at night like organized people, you say.  Maybe then I could do what I’m not getting around to, what I’m falling apart on, what I’m neglecting because I’m sitting around all disorganized or what-the-fuck-ever I am.

That’s when I was supposed to do all this stuff that I don’t do.  Right?

After I take the screaming child to school maybe late and rush to my job maybe late and work all day on one thing or another.
Maybe sometime between picking child up, talking to a teacher, tracking assignments and homework.
Or, I know, during the day while making sure schedules are up-to-date and sports equipment is packed and uniforms are washed.
Maybe after I pay bills, do taxes, get everyone’s haircuts together, go to the doctor and dentist and make sure child and you get there too.
How about when I drive child to sport and pick up his buddy, too?  Should I do all these things when I pack the car with snacks and drinks for the ride to and from sport?
How about when I take three dogs to the groomers and vet?
And call that tree guy to get that thing trimmed for chrissake it’s about to drop limbs everywhere.

I could do whatever I’m neglecting at the same time I find a new lawn service because the other one sure isn’t working out.  I will do it when I negotiate prices, get recommendations from friends and neighbors.

Or before I wash more loads of laundry and go shopping.
And when I buy everyone’s clothing.  I could do all these things I neglect to do then.

Maybe I should do all this stuff I forgot to do while I’m cleaning the pee off the bathroom floor and the hair out of the drain and the grease out of the kitchen sink.
I could also add it to calling the plumber and the heating guy and keeping up on changing all filters and batteries because I know where the batteries are.  And no one else seems to.

How about when I change light bulbs all over the house?  Or change toilet paper and paper towel rolls and garbage bags?
Could I fit these neglected things in when I take out the trash and recycling bins and bring the cans to and from the backyard on garbage day?

Oh, I know, I can do it when I get the dry cleaning.  Yes.
Or when I put a new nylon on the washer hose.  Change sheets.  Wash sheets.  Dry sheets.
Or when I scoop poop and clean up dog vomit and make sure I buy food for the dogs that won’t make them itch or vomit after I do research online about food allergies.
What about before I deal with that lost check that never arrived and talk to the broker and the tax accountant?
Or when I drive to City Hall or the Secretary of State to stand in lines to pay fees?

Then?  Would you like me to do all the shit that I don’t do then?

Maybe as I cook and wash the fucking dishes and sweep the floors and pick up the shit that you, child, and buddies seem to leave every living where.  
When I take kids to swim and play basketball and see movies and have play dates at the park and go skating.  Sometime then.
Wipe everything and everyone down.

While you take meetings and talk to friends and watch TV and have opinions and get you yourself and you ready without thinking about anything but just that.  While I think of everything else and the kitchen sink.

And do everything. Everything. Everything.
Then.  Maybe.  I will catch up to your satisfaction.

Ok, maybe I got lost for a second.  I forgot and lost track of the answer.
Now, when was I supposed to do these things?  The things that get pushed to the side?  The things I don’t get to do?  Tell me.

Never mind.  I know.
I took an hour to get my hair cut.
I went to lunch with a friend.
I got my nails done.
I watched a TV show.
I shopped for myself.
I am horribly lax.
I get it.  
There are a few things that I haven’t done because of all this time-wasting.

I didn’t yet clean off the front porch, take donations to Goodwill, plant flowers and trees and shrubs in the yard, pull weeds, fertilize the grass, clean out the garage, paint the porch, wash windows, pick up every toy, hockey puck, basketball, baseball, football, frisbee, and tennis racket over and over and over.  Put away bikes and scooters and skateboards.  And I didn’t get a chance to stop by and pick up your prescription, print out that document to take to your workshop in the morning because you can’t deal with that stupid printer I bought, unpack your suitcase from your trip, turn off the lights in your study that you forgot, plug in your iPad, help you with your computer, find your phone, order your shirts online, bring that giant box of paper towels in off the porch, or clean out your goddamn car.

I fell short of all expectations.

And you sit on the back porch reading.  And tell me I don’t do shit after you wash the dishes for a day or two and decide it might be time to cook because, oh my fucking god, it is so late and we never eat as a family anymore.

So tell me.  Go ahead.
When was I supposed to do everything I didn’t already do?

Stanzie York.

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