The bungalow smells heavy of chest rub,

instant chicken noodle soup

I lay drowsy in the distant

clattering sounds of mommy

scrubbing breakfast plates,

the quiet peace of daddy

thankfully gone until six


No Benedictine nuns to scold me,

slap my opened palms

with twelve inch rulers

calling my curiosity sinful


A safe morning in flannel pajamas,

comfy blanket on my chest and legs,

I browse picture books of knights,

witches, ogres and talking animals


Buffalo Bob, Mayor Phineas T. Bluster,

Dilly Dally and Flub-a-Dub

jostle side by side in beaming faces

on the fuzzy screen next to

a freckled red-headed dummy

with an insane wooden grin


Still in the dark about hydrogen bombs,

no missile crisis, no Vietnam conflict,

no Cold War, Islamic State, beheadings,

just a peaceful morning with sun and snow

gleaming through the windows,

Hopalong Cassidy 45 records for story time,

and alone with mommy before daddy

and the whole world goes sick in the head