Unexpected Day Off In The Country – December 1990

My workday problems seem remote.
As the snow falls outside my window,
Tea too hot to drink, grows cold, untouched
as the last page of my book is turned.

The quietness of this snowy day,
stolen from a hectic week,
is shattered periodically,
by the shrieks, shouts and bangs
from far off rooms.

These sounds, like first tremors of an impending quake,
culminate in the appearance of my two young boys.
with tear stained eyes and unwiped noses,
they stand and plead their case.

With the foolishness of Solomon,
and the wisdom of Lewis Carol.
I meet out justice from my easy chair.
Distraction more than penance the effective tool,

We feast on peanuts,
Nuts fetched by the elder child.
Bowl brought by the younger.
We shuck and toss the shells into the bowl
with varying degrees of success.

With full bellies and giggles from my hugs and kisses,
They run drop and slide on the polished wood floors,
back to the den to resume the building of their castle,
made from couch pillows, chairs and blankets.

Dispute forgotten, their laughter in the background
like the sound of a waterfall
I sip some cool tea and close my eyes.
My wife arises, sleepy eyed from a nap on the couch,
to see our youngest appear from behind the bathroom door.
With pants around ankles and a wide grin he hops into the room.
And proudly shouts, “I missed”
As the Sun sets, I bid my chair and lazy day adieu and say,
“No, honey, I’ll get it.

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