–Lake Fork, Idaho 2020
The show opens every morning.
Little feet patter down the stairs
finding their place on couch or chair,
wrapped in blankets, adjusting to the cold
a new day brings for a time.
Mostly silence holds the room
‘til leitmotifs are ironed out,
then the crescendo builds and bustle reigns.
Little Maggie as Neehaw the donkey
walks the empty stroller round the stage
confronting leopard and panther
brothers who growl in baritone
as best they can, moving aside
for the diva donkey when she demands.
Oliver’s aria counts the eggs,
“Twunty” three, “twunty” four…
Henry shoos the red tail hawk
off the porch with trills and vibrato.
Coloratura grows chore by chore.
The boys swing by rope and trampoline,
feed the hogs, bring in the wood
in strict ensemble. The diva dreams.
When lunch is served the forks and spoons
make drums on tile. The singing soothes,
as watermelon sandwiches
and chips provide a lovely pause.
The work commences soon enough,
the donkey sweeps and panther pounces
on a stack of buckets. Leopard catches
grasshoppers for the preying mantis.
The day winds down on couch and chairs,
they’re wrapped in blankets once again
’til mostly silence holds the room
and children sleep through curtain calls.
Frank Babcock lives in Corvallis, Oregon and is a retired Albany middle school teacher and owner of a bamboo nursery. He writes poetry to share the strange thoughts that rattle around in his head and to get them off his mind. He started with an interest in the beatnik poets, Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg. He has a long way to go and much to write before he sleeps.