Chocolate Coda

My son and I played with the Pops
On Monday nights for years, and stops
For milkshakes (the McDonald’s blend)
Were how we liked our nights to end.
On cooler eves we changed it up
By opting for a warmer cup
And drank our chocolate hot instead:
We’d scald our tongues, then head to bed.
The post-rehearsal chocolate shake
Tradition took me months to break
But when my violinist son
For whom the ritual’d begun
Laid down his bow and headed east
For school, it sputtered, then it ceased.
Still, every now and then, I find
I’m missing notes inside my mind,
Especially when autumn drizzles
Fall, and my willpower fizzles;
There’s no way to fill the chord
Without some chocolate being poured.
On nights like those–and this is one–
I reminisce about my son
And I on Mondays with our sweet
Aprés-orchestral chocolate treat…
And then I put the kettle on
And sigh, because those nights are gone.


A window’s a hole in a wall or a door
An absence where something was present before
A kind of a shadow that lets in the light
In the daytime then lets it back out in the night
A glass-covered portal for light’s penetration
When solids pass through it’s called defenestration
When solids don’t pass through the glass it gets tricky
With humans it’s humorous; birds can be icky


To celebrate the equinox
I wore my lucky shamrock socks.
I know it’s turning fall up here
But in the southern hemisphere
(Because the earth tilts on its axis;
Don’t blame me; that’s what the facts is)
Spring has just now come about
Which means the Roman knives were out
Last Thursday: Southern Caesar died
When Brutus stabbed him in the Ide
(That’s March 15th, as you’re aware;
They’re six months out of synch down there)
So, logically, St. Patrick’s Day
Was just a week ago, but, hey,
Don’t give me heat for being late.
It’s not my fault I missed the date:
It’s hard to find a leprechaun
This time of year! They’ve mostly gone
To Auckland, Perth or Bloemfontein
To frolic in the winter rain.
But better late than never, right?
We’re ready now for Paddy’s Night!
So raise a frothy Irish cheer
For spring (down there) and fall (up here).
Erin go Bragh and all like that!
Now drink your beer. It’s going flat.

Please Repost

I’m asking all my friends–although
Most won’t, but that’s okay. I know
The ones who will: They have my thanks,
And all the rest are hos and skanks–
To post this as their status for
An hour. Make that two. No, more!
Keep this status for a week!
Or else I’ll turn the other cheek
And you can stab it in the back
As well. Just know: I’m keeping track
Of who reposts and who’s too cool,
Just like they always were in school
With all their friends and fancy clothes
And now they’re grown and no one knows
Just how stuck-up they were back then
And look! They’d like to be your friend
Online! Like that will make up for
Those times you’d wave and they’d ignore
You, or, with condescending smile,
They’d compliment your sense of “style,”
Making quote marks in the air,
Then laugh, and leave you standing there,
Humiliated, in the hall
And thinking, it’s not even fall
And I’ve already blown my chance
Of ever getting asked to dance…

So, anyway,
If you repost
I’ll love you lots!

(If not, you’re toast.)

Papa Can’t Sing

Papa can’t sing.

Papa can juggle three balls and a bat
Or a pair of striped sneakers, a moose and a cat
He can even catch eggs without making a splat
(And it takes lots of practice to catch eggs like that)

Papa can’t sing.
His Rock-a-Bye Baby is wobbly and flat
Because Papa can’t sing.

Papa plays jazz on a shiny cornet
And he knows how to whistle-hum just like a jet
He can spell out my name with the signed alphabet
He can even make ice cubes without getting wet!

Papa can’t sing.
He tries harder than anyone I’ve ever met
But Papa can’t sing.

His voice goes up high when it ought to be low
And he races through songs that would sound better slow
At times he’s so bad that you don’t even know
What he’s trying to sing and you just wish he’d go
But he fights his way through to the end even though…

Papa can’t sing.
He scares cats with Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do
Because Papa can’t sing.

A lullaby ought to be soothing, you’d think
And make you feel warm inside like a hot drink
On a cold winter’s morning, and only a fink
Would say, “Papa, please stop, ’cause your lullabies stink!”

Papa can’t sing.
Every night when he tries, Mama gives me a wink
Because Papa can’t sing.

One time we all went for a trip in the car
Down to stay with Aunt Susan, who lives really far
And for 500 miles he played air guitar
As he drove and crooned tunes that were downright bizarre

Papa can’t sing.
He twinkled the heck out of that little star
Because Papa can’t sing.

Someday if I’m lucky I’ll find myself wed
And have kids of my own, and I’ll tuck them in bed
And when all of the Dr. Seuss books have been read
And the Digital Lullabitronitor’s dead
And it’s quiet…they’ll ask me the question I dread:

Papa, can you sing?
Let’s play with the ghost in the closet instead!
Papa, could you sing?
You’re not gonna like what comes out of my head…
Papa, will you sing?
I sang for George Washington, once. Now he’s dead!
Papa, please sing?

And I’ll turn out the light so they can’t see the red
In my cheeks, or the streaks from the tears that I’ll shed
As I’m singing, remembering what Papa once said:

“Papa can’t sing,
But music, according to some guy who’s dead,
Is the food of love, so, to make sure you’re well fed
I’ll cram notes down your throat like a thick slice of bread!”

Papa can’t sing.
But he never lets critics get into his head.
Papa just sings.