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|  SHOPPING WITH KIDS

 
  Well I suppose, to have started the day
with T'ai Chi, at the same time shouting
at Jake to stop pestering Maya,
while Mary vacuumed around my feet,
which drowned out the Tragically Hip
cranked up to full, should have given me
some indication of what
shopping was going to be like.

I want a snack. I'm thirsty.
I want something to drink.
I want a video game. Can I have a video game?
Are we getting a video game?
Jake and Maya screech over
who gets to ride the cart. And again
I'm still thirsty. Are we getting a video game?
I want to ride the cart. No I want to.
No I want to. And I begin to slip
into pterodactyl mode.
Jake punches my lip as I carry him
tantrumming across the parking lot.
Mary shrieks for us to All. Calm. Down!
My head is a ball of boiling snakes.

Cloudbursts and lightning in the car,
we return home. Maya sleeps.
Mary stays in the house absorbing
the relaxing comfort of the kitchen.
Jake and I demolish the snow fort
topped with dragons and knight heads,
pulverize our anger into tiny
chunks of snow, which we
toss lamely at
each other.


from Forever the Last Time
Wolsak & Wynn
2004
Copyright © Jim Slominski