The Age of Reason – A Poem

 

The Age of Reason

It is seven and I am eating a meal
of fish
(salmon for those who
are curious)
and rice
(white with a touch
of soy sauce
so as to not appear
pretentious)
for breakfast
with my son next to me
at the table
eating a big bowl of sugary
chocolate
cereal.

My morning cup of coffee is too bitter.

There is an unpeeled
banana
beside his bowl.

“Make sure you eat your banana too,” I say.

He nods.
He tells me his favorite breakfast is
pancakes.

“That’s a good one.”

“Mom makes the best.”

“She does make
one hell
of a pancake.”

I feel a certain liberty
to cuss
select words
in his presence
as he has just turned ten.

The age of reason.

A time when his inventive imaginings
begin to fade.

“Are you going to work today?”

“Nope. You going to school?”

“Yeah.” He drains the milk
from the bottom of
his bowl
and takes the dishes to the sink.

“Come on Bryan. We’re running late,” his
mom calls out.

I go and grab his backpack
and handing it to him
he slings it over his shoulders.
I walk him to the door.
Opening it I ask

“You want to watch a movie
when you get home
or play a game? Or something?”

“I dunno.”

“Okay.”

He walks out and I say bye.
My wife hurries past
me
a professionally dressed blur
whizzing through
the door
saying

“Have a nice day”

as she reaches the car.
A red Honda
that will take
three and a half more years to pay off.
About.
Give or take a few months.

I watch them as they back out
and drive
down the street
into the busy-ness of school and career
and I go inside
to start cleaning up the morning dishes.

The banana is on the counter.
Peeled but forgotten
in the mad dash
out the door.
I pick it up, break off a piece
and chew it
while looking out the backyard
where a dozen
sparrows
skitter along the grass
thinking

about the bitter coffee.
Better reduce
the number of scoops
tomorrow.

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