Friday, May 19, 2017

Raccoons in the Chimney

I noticed that the raccoons in the chimney
responded to Homer Simpson’s voice.
Before I could determine, though,
whether they were frightened or pleased to hear
predator or kin, or just annoyed by the sound—
and you know I would have, too; I was all set
to go Discovery Channel on them, to run elaborate experiments
involving a Skinner box, amplitude modulation,
t-test analyses, and maybe saliva—the phone rang

And it was my son.  Which was a little weird
because he hardly ever calls anymore.
The phone calls stopped about the same time
he announced he wouldn’t be able to come down much
anymore, at least not regularly like he had, every other weekend
for fifteen years.  It’s not like I didn’t understand—hell,
what did I think of my father, at his age?
He has a girlfriend, a job and a band, for chrissakes. 
Oh, it was to tell me about a new gig

That he phoned, a real gig, he called it, and sure
I’ll be there, I said, why wouldn’t I? you know I’m a rocker
from way back.  By the time I got back to the TV, however,
the raccoons had gone quiet, even though Homer had Bart
in a chokehold and was yelling at him like it was the end of the world. So perhaps there’s nothing to it.

(Green Mountains Review, 2005)

No comments:

Post a Comment