Morning at our house

Vicki Marsh Kabat

February 05, 1993|By Vicki Marsh Kabat

AT Bill Clinton's inauguration, poet Maya Angelou read an original work, "On The Pulse of Morning," greeting the dawn of a new day represented by the Clinton administration.

A powerful, moving work, Ms. Angelou's poem is worthy of praise, a call to each of us to give thoughtful consideration to our contributions to tomorrow.

Nonetheless, I must admit her call to a new dawn stirred poetic thoughts of another kind in the soul of this mother of three. With respect and apologies to Ms. Angelou, here is my poem, "Check My Pulse: A Morning at Our House":

Here on the pulse of

this new day

kids, chaos and clamor

The wakening alarm

of a new dawn

The moans that greet

the rising sun

emitted by the rising sons.

The scattered socks sing

from the netherlands

'neath the bed

dusty, dirty, dingy

Shoelaces broken --

Oh species extinct!

Despair at the parting

of the soles.

The foraging in frozen

` interiors for food

The battle royale --

elemental, primal, bestial,

the clashing of wills

over the last of the


The Alpha and the Omega.

Water -- flowing,

` flooding, flushing

once hot and plentiful

cleansing and invigorating

now trickles . . . coldly.

Parental curses course


in the tiled inner sanctum.

Papers pried from

! jellied tabletops

signed and witnessed

ready to assure

` scholarly destiny.

The wail and moaning

that accompany

forgotten assignments,

$ forgotten due dates.

Harried preparations of

` the noonday repast

The staff of life -- the

% stuff of Oscar Mayer.

Three lunchbox lids

snap shut.

We are ready.

Here on the pulse of

this new day

I may still have the strength

to look up and out

And see my sons look

& into each others' eyes

(without smiting anyone --


and see them look

into my face,

wearied and discouraged,

And say to them simply,

with hope,

"Go to school!"

Vicki Marsh Kabat writes for the Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald.

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